In December, the Five Cities Fire Authority will have its first permanent fire chief in more than 18 months.
On Tuesday, the Five Cities Fire Authority Board announced the selection of former Grover Beach Mayor Steve Lieberman to the executive position. He will officially begin Dec. 8.
Lieberman served as a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician with the Grover Beach Fire Department before being elected to the Grover Beach City Council in 2000. He served as a councilman and mayor until 2008.
While on the council, he was involved in the formation of the Fire Authority as a member of the League of California Cities Public Safety Policy Committee, according to a news release.
Lieberman will take control over an agency grappling with staff shortages. Voters rejected a proposed assessment district in April, resulting in the loss of six full-time firefighters and engineers, who were laid off in August. Those positions were previously funded through a now-expired public safety grant.
The Fire Authority serves Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach and Oceano.