JC Board Eliminates Fire Position

By WBNG News

JC Board Eliminates Fire Position

July 22, 2010 Updated Jan 7, 2009 at 12:32 AM EDT

Johnson City's Fire Department will have to do without an assistant fire chief.

Tonight, by a vote of 3 to 1, the Village Board eliminated the position.

The issue had been up for debate for months.

Trustee Dennis Hannon supported the resolution, saying the department is going to have to continue to do more with less.

"We bantered quiet a bit during the last budget development so now we've eliminated the position and we can go into the budget process. We don't have to spend a lot of time on that particular issue and it's going to save the taxpayer a significant sum of money," said Hannon.

But it may not be over just yet.

The Johnson City fire department could bring legal action against the village to reinstate the position.

But Hannon says there is nothing in the contract that forces the village to keep it.

Not voted on tonight: a resolution to eliminate the fire department's Manning Clause.

It was held over by Trustee Bruce King.

The clause forces a minimum of 7 firefighters be on staff at any given time.

Trustees in favor of eliminating the clause say it would drastically cut overtime costs.

Those opposed say the cuts would leave the department spread too thin.

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