Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Breaking News

December 4, 2012

Split council ratifies fire chief appointment

Knoxville — A controversial decision was made to approve the appointment of Nick Bonstall as Knoxville's new Fire Chief at a salary of $59,000, a sum that is $4,000 more than the highest advertised amount of pay for the position. 

The Knoxville City Council voted to approve City Manager Harold Stewart's appointment of Bonstall. By Code, the city manager appoints the fire chief, but it must be approved by the council. 

Councilors April Verwers and Elsie Kemp voted against the ratification. They had concerns about Bonstall's salary request.

"He knew what the salary range was," Verwers said. 

Stewart told the council that it was likely that if he were to return to Bonstall with the $55,000 offer, Bonstall would reject it. He predicted the same thing would happen if that sum were presented to the other remaining finalist. One of the three finalists, not yet identified, dropped out before Monday night's council meeting. 

"My guess is he would decline the position," Stewart said. 

Stewart indicated that Mayor Don Zoutte had called for salary comparisons prior to Monday's meeting. Oskaloosa's fire chief makes $62,000; Newton-$91,000; Grinnell-$73,000; Creston-$81,000 and Centerville-$49,000. All of these department heads handle fire and not EMS. The Knoxville chief is responsible for both. 

In addition to the pay, Bonstall will also be offered three weeks vacation, a benefit one typically has to work seven years for the City to earn. 

"I feel it's a slap in the face to our employees who have been here," Verwers said. 

Councilor Dave Roozeboom defended the action, because Bonstall has prior experience. Details of his work history have not yet been made public, but the Journal-Express intends to gather more information for the Dec. 7 print edition. 

"When you've been some place 15 years, the experience comes with you," Roozeboom said. He and Councilor Carolyn Formanek want to set benchmarks, or goals, for him to meet on the job. 

Text Only
Breaking News
Features
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel David Perdue Wins Georgia GOP Senate Runoff 98-Year-Old Woman Left in Parked Truck Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Raw: MD Church Built in 1773 Ravaged by Fire Flight to Tel Aviv From US Diverted to Paris AP Review: Amazon Fire Adds Spark to Smartphones Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban
Facebook
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Upon completion and reopening of Third Street, should the City of Knoxville wait to start the next stage of the Streetscape and Infrastructure project until 2015?

Yes
No
     View Results