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Fire chief’s stipend sparks discussion
The Stockdale City Council continues to wrangle with stipend issues related to the Stockdale fire chief. This matter was previously discussed during a May 19 budget workshop. (See May 28, “Will Stockdale get a police force and another ESD?”)
A $1,000-per-month compensation or stipend for the fire chief was discussed during the June 3 meeting, and Councilman Becky Adams questioned who would pay it. If the city pays, the fire chief would be considered a city employee, subject to payroll taxes, Social Security deductions, and health insurance.
Mayor Ray Wolff, who met with the fire department prior to the council meeting, said if the city pays this stipend, then the chief answers to the city manager.
Baker and Wolff said the compensation has been included in the fire department budget for the next fiscal year.
In the past, the Stockdale VFD Ladies Auxiliary paid a stipend to the volunteers. The Ladies Auxiliary donated $13,000 to the department, so it was suggested the stipend for the fire chief should come from the auxiliary, not the city.
Baker opposed this, saying the group assists with other expenditures, including equipment. They also sponsor classes for department volunteers. Baker will meet with the auxiliary and report back to the council.
A breakdown of funds received by the VFD includes:
•Ladies auxiliary, $13,000;
•Wilson County, $27,000;
•City of Stockdale, $10,000;
Addressing the budget, Stockdale City Manager Banks Akin suggested transferring two accounts -- the Stockdale Emergency Medical Services (EMS) account of $16,000 and EMS Modular fund of $12,000 -- to the fire truck account, which currently stands at $40,837. Akin said since the creation of Emergency Services District No. 3, the accounts are not needed and he would like to close them. The item will be placed on the next agenda for consideration and action.
During this meeting, the council also addressed another safety issue, the city’s marshal department.
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