Elgin names fire chief, seeks assistant city manager

Two leadership changes are in store for Elgin's municipal administration, the city announced Saturday.

Interim Fire Chief Robert Cagann has been appointed to the position of fire chief on a permanent basis, and Assistant City Manager Laura Valdez is stepping down Feb. 14 to begin a position in the nonprofit sector.

Cagann, who has been with the city since 1993, said in a news release he's honored to become fire chief and work on "leading this department to further define excellence in the industry."

Valdez, who joined the city in 2012, called it "bittersweet" to move on from her time with Elgin, which she said in a news release "truly is a special place." The city plans to conduct a search to fill the position under City Manager Rick Kozal.

Cagann, who had served as assistant fire chief since 2017, worked as a firefighter for eight years before being promoted to lieutenant in 2001, captain in 2008 and battalion chief in 2015. He led the department's training division for 15 years.

"Cagann has distinguished himself as an integral leader in the efficiencies and advancements the fire department is practicing," Kozal said in a news release.

Valdez, meanwhile, started as an intern in the human resources department and worked her way up to assistant city manager two years ago. Her work has included serving on the executive budget team, implementing technology initiatives, and developing a diversity and inclusion framework. She has worked with outside groups to, among other things, realign Elgin's approach to addressing homelessness.

Laura Valdez, assistant city manager in Elgin, is preparing to step down Feb. 14 to take a position at a nonprofit organization. Courtesy of city of Elgin
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