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Retired East Lansing fire chief rejoins city as interim city manager

Randy Talifarro, the previous fire chief of East Lansing, will take on a new role within the
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Posted at 12:16 PM, Feb 22, 2023

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Randy Talifarro began his new position as interim city manager on Monday, Feb. 13, taking over responsibilities from Acting City Manager and Police Chief Kim Johnson.

Talifarro and Johnson were slated for these temporary positions after East Lansing city officials unanimously voted to end the city's contract with the previous city manager, George Lahanas.

“During this transitional period, I’m looking forward to working closely with the city’s exceptional, professional staff to maintain quality municipal services for community members, while also helping with the upcoming budget season and organizing the search process for the next city manager. Working to support our MSU partners in this difficult time will also be a priority,” said Talifarro in a news release. “After a 20-year career with the East Lansing Fire Department, it’s a pleasure to be back here in the East Lansing community. I’m looking forward to hitting the ground running in this interim role.”

Talifarro previously served as East Lansing's fire chief for 20 years prior to his retirement in 2021. For six of those years, he served as chief for both the East Lansing Fire Department and the Lansing Fire Department.

Before coming to East Lansing, Talifarro worked for the Flint Fire Department where he was awarded “Firefighter of the Year” and earned the Medal of Merit in 1993. He also received his State of Michigan Professional Emergency Manager designation in 1998. Talifarro quickly moved through the ranks to become assistant fire chief in 2000.

“We appreciate Talifarro returning to East Lansing to serve in this interim role,” said East Lansing Mayor Ron Bacon in the release. “As we approach budget season, a lot of my emphasis will be on public safety, which is an area in which Talifarro has extensive experience. This, coupled with his experience working in leadership positions for three separate municipalities and his familiarity with the city’s departments, will be key in ensuring that we do not lose continuity during this time of transition.”

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