Deal for potential fire chief eyed

GLOVERSVILLE-The city is still waiting for a new fire chief as a contract is negotiated with the Common Council.

Mayor Dayton King said the council is negotiating a salary and benefits offer proposed by King and one of the two applicants for the position.

Previously, King announced he nominated one of the city’s battalion chiefs to be the next fire chief. King said he was considering battalion chiefs Tom Groff and David Rackmyre for the position, but he would not say which person he nominated.

However, 2nd Ward Councilman Art Simonds previously said the mayor is nominating Groff.

King declined today to say which applicant is negotiating, or provide the details of the offer.

King said the council wanted to negotiate the offer further. He said there may be a change to the offer, but expressed concern an agreement might not be reached.

“We are not meeting where each other needs to be at this point,” King said.

King said the main issue comes from health insurance benefits. The council would like to see the new chief pay for 25 percent of the insurance, but a member of the department’s union does not pay that much, he said.

King said the chief can no longer be a member of the union.

Beth Whitman-Putnam, the former fire chief who retired in June, had a salary of $87,500.

King confirmed the difference between union insurance costs and the suggested chiefs rate could be up to $6,000.

If a decision cannot be made on a new chief, King said the search can be reopened.

King said today he hoped the council would come to a decision soon.

“The ball is in the Common Council’s hands,” King said.