City calls for assistance to get firefighter in plan

JOHNSTOWN – The Common Council recently requested state lawmakers enact special “home rule” legislation to allow a city firefighter to enroll in a retirement plan.

The council passed a resolution at City Hall to assist city firefighter Eric Brown, who was hired on July 26, 2009. The city requested the state Senate and Assembly enact special legislation in an upcoming session to enable Brown to enroll in the normal Tier 5 retirement plan for firefighters.

The resolution says Brown originally failed to make a timely application to participate in the state’s Tier 5 optional 20-year retirement plan through the State and Local Retirement System.

City Fire Chief Bruce Heberer said the fire department the last few years has been working behind the scenes trying to get Brown into the retirement plan that he “actually belongs in.” Now, the city is looking for help from local state legislators.

“This kind of fell through the cracks,” said Mayor Sarah Slingerland.

Committee members

In other personnel business before the board recently, Slingerland appointed the following volunteers to the city’s Committee for Promoting Tourism: 3rd Ward Councilwoman Helen Martin, 2nd Ward Councilman Chris Foss, City Historian Noel Levee, Peter Betz, Wade Wells, Bob Kosowicz, City Clerk Cathy A. VanAlsyne, City Engineer Chandra Cotter and Linda Hinkle.

“Our thanks to all of them for thinking about our city and doing some good things,” Slingerland said.

The council also appointed Michael C. Gifford of 7 N. Chase St. to the city Planning Board. Gifford, who serves as city treasurer, is being appointed to a term that expires March 31, 2016.