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Stockdale VFD members take stand for former chief
Stockdale Volunteer Fire Department Capt. Will Phillips addresses the Stockdale City Council about naming a new fire chief during the council’s March 5 meeting.
By Pat Kopecki
Wilson County News
“We want Fire Chief Edwin Baker back.”
This was the message members of the Stockdale Volunteer Fire Department (VFD) conveyed during the March 5 Stockdale City Council meeting.
Stockdale VFD member Rusty Duncan and Capt. Will Phillips, accompanied by about a half dozen other members, addressed the council, asking for the city’s help to bring Baker back. Baker’s resignation was announced during the Feb. 4 city council meeting. See “Third time’s a charm for three-bay truck wash,” Feb. 12 for more.
Currently, interim Fire Chief David Rice is serving as the acting chief until a replacement is named. Duncan, who has worked with Baker for more than 13 years, spoke highly of Baker’s skills as a firefighter, health and safety officer, leader, and educator. He suggested the fire chief should be a paid position, since it is a full-time job.
The firefighters did not leave after delivering their comments, and were later joined by others. Councilman Becky Adams invited further information from the group.
City Manager Banks Akin cautioned the council members they could not engage in discussion of the concern, as the item was not on the meeting agenda.
Duncan had claimed that a search for a new chief is being conducted outside the Stockdale VFD’s district. Mayor Ray Wolff asked for more information, which led to the conclusion that the rumor is hearsay. Wolff advised that the Stockdale VFD members should meet and elect a chief from within the department and present the candidate to the city council for final approval.
In other matters, the council:
•Renewed the existing agreement with Coler & Colantonio Inc. for another year. This group serves as the city’s consultant for its natural gas service, at a cost of $5,000 to $6,000 annually.
•Approved the city’s participation in the Texas Municipal Retirement System.
•Heard a city marshal report for last month. See “Stockdale City Marshal report.”
•Held a workshop to identify streets and drainage projects. See 6A for more.
Also in attendance: Councilmen Sherry D. Lambeck, Scott Soden, and Saul Bosquez; and Stockdale Deputy City Marshal David Rice.
Stockdale City Marshal report
Stockdale Deputy City Marshal David Rice presented a report from his department for the month of February, including:
•44 warnings issued
•32 citations issued.
Rice said the No. 1 priority is speed limit enforcement, especially within the school zones.
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