Take look at possibilities

As Gloversville continues without a fire chief, city officials should take a little time to review all the possibilities regarding the position.

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

The mayor previously said he is nominating one of the city’s battalion chiefs to be the next fire chief. King said he is considering battalion chiefs Tom Groff and David Rackmyre for the position, but he would not say which person he is nominating. However, a councilman said the mayor is nominating Groff.

Either way, there appears to be a problem with how much health insurance the nominee wants to pay for. King said the council would like to see the new chief pay for 25 percent of the insurance, but the members of the department’s union pay less than that.

To put in perspective how much the new chief could earn: The former fire chief, Beth Whitman-Putnam, who retired in June, had a salary of $87,500.

Let’s hope the contract situation does not drag on like the former chief’s did. Whitman-Putnam and the city didn’t reach an agreement for her compensation and benefits until more than a year and a half after she was appointed chief.

But city officials also should use this time to look at other possibilities.

Perhaps Gloversville could look into sharing a fire chief with Johnstown. Perhaps a part-time chief would be capable of handling the job. Maybe a retired chief would be willing to work for an amount the other candidates find unacceptable.

While we want the Fire Department to have leadership, the city should look at every opportunity to save taxpayers money.