Second-round interviews held so far to hire the next fire chief have proved fruitful, though maybe not final, in naming the next chief.

The Ripon Area Fire District (RAFD) held several interviews over the past week. Whether they are the last interviews needed to replace departed chief David Bathke, though, remains to be seen.

Bathke left the department late last fall after just 11 months on the job to take a position in Arizona.

Jim Werch, treasurer for the RAFD board, was optimistic the process to replace Bathke is nearly complete.

“We met again last night [Monday] and went over our applications,” he said. “A few other questions and concerns came up — nothing bad. We’re going forward with the process with possibly some more interviews and meetings with candidates.”

Overall, Werch felt discussions with candidates have been positive thus far.

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