The Pierce County Fire District 16 Board of Commissioners accepted the resignation of Fire Chief Tom Lique at the regular fire commissioners meeting on Jan. 28. Lique’s resignation will be effective Friday, Jan. 31.

Board chairperson Raymond Lamoureux, also the Key Peninsula Fire Department’s spokesperson, told the KP News that the commissioners had been in discussions, and had decided to move the department in a “different direction.”

Prior to Thursday’s meeting, the commissioners and Lique had already come to a monetary settlement to “buy out” Lique’s contract, which had no expiration date.

“We have been very happy with Tom and what he has done for the fire department, and will give him a good letter of recommendation,” Lamoureux said. “The board just has a different vision for the future of the department.”

The commissioners will be holding a “workshop” meeting in mid-February. The session will be open to the public to discuss the future direction for the department and the qualification they will seek in a new fire chief.

Lique grew up on the Key Peninsula and has served as a firefighter and paramedic since 1984. He rose through the ranks and has been serving as the department’s chief since 2007. In 2011, Lique was selected by his peers as the Pierce County Chief Officer of the Year.

Key Peninsula Assistant Chief Guy Allen was appointed the district’s interim chief until the permanent position is filled.