After nearly 30 years with the Minnetonka Fire Department, Fire Chief Joe Wallin will mark his last day on the job Sunday.
The longtime fire chief was recognized last week by the City Council for his 27 years in the Fire Department — 19 of which he was chief. He's retiring and moving to Washington to be with family.
"I think Minnetonka's loss is Joe's family's gain," Council Member Brad Wiersum said at the meeting. "He does have tough shoes to fill, but he's positioned the Fire Department to be in a place where whoever comes to fill his shoes will be able to do it because he's got a fine group below him."
Starting in Excelsior, Wallin joined Minnetonka in 1986, moving from firefighter to fire inspector to chief, running the department of 80 paid on-call firefighters and five full-time staff.
Deputy Chief Kevin Fox will be the acting fire chief until a replacement is hired by early summer. The city is conducting a statewide search for a new chief with the help of a consultant.