Portsmouth (Va.) Fire Chief Newell Whitehead is resigning after a 44-year career on Dec. 1, due partly to his conflicts with City Manager Ken Chandler. According to WAVY-TV, Whitehead's resignation letter read, "The decision to resign/retire was based on a difference in management philosophy between me and the City Manager." Councilwoman Elizabeth Psimas said the differences came about largely due to Chandler's decision to downsize the administrative side of the Portsmouth Fire Department, eliminating two administrators. Chandler reportedly based his decision on recommendations from the Matrix Consulting Group.
Whitehead responded to this act in his letter, saying, "I felt it undermined my ability to manage." In the letter, Whitehead also criticized the fact that he did not get 20 additional firefighters.
Psimas added that more cuts will be made to the 200-member department to make it more efficient.