Chief in Waiting: The news that Rocco Forte, chief of the Minneapolis Fire Department, was leaving his post raised some eyebrows last week around City Hall.
And the news that Forte
is not actually leaving, but taking a new job as head of the regulatory services department, led to still more speculation.
Why the move?Was it a means of solving practical problems, or political ones? Forte is a very popular figure in city government, seemingly beloved by every local politician in sight.
A year ago, he
won Rybak's praise for reacting to impending city budget cuts; MFD Chief Forte's plan was filed weeks before that of MPD Chief Robert Olson. (Then again, Forte's plan called for 32 layoffs, since reinstated--a move that didn't exactly endear him to rank-and-file firefighters.) The official spin was that Forte, having spent 29 years with the MFD, would qualify for a more handsome pension package if he ended his career in a different position.