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Anthony Clayton resigns as the Meridian Fire Chief after 34 years of service

Yesterday at the Meridian city council meeting, many matters concerning the city were talked about as usual. However, one man took the stand not to discuss issues, but to announce his retirement.

“You know, I did the best I could that I knew how to do. It wasn’t happy for everybody. I didn’t make everybody happy—you’re never going to make everybody happy. But you’ve got to do the best you can, the best that the Almighty gives you power to do, and that’s what I tried to do,” Said Meridian Fire Chief Anthony Clayton.

Chief Clayton has served with the Meridian fire department for 34 years and nine months.

“He’s a great leader, and an inspiration, and he’s taught me a lot. I’ve listened to his advice, and he’s taught me to slow down and think—it’s just his command presence. It’s a lot to learn from,” said Chief Deputy Ricky Leister.

The deputy chief, who has worked around Chief Clayton since 2009, says while there are many aspects about the chief in which he likes, there’s one ritual he holds as his favorite.

“My favorite aspect with Chief is every morning we sit and drink coffee and discuss what’s going on that day and what our plans are and how we plan to get there, different options. I don’t always have the best idea, he adds to that. Sometimes we just kick it around back and forth with what’s going on; who we can talk to. We always pretty much come to the same conclusion: don’t re-invent the will,” Leister explained.

As for what plans Chief Clayton has for after retirement.

“I have some heavy equipment- I’m going to play in the dirt,” Clayton said.

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