Facing continued deficit spending, the board voted 4-0 on Sept. 12 to drop each director’s compensation from $75 to $70 per meeting. The board usually meets once a month, with occasional committee meetings sprinkled in.
President Jane Armstrong, who is up for re-election Nov. 6, said she felt it was important for the board to give up something because firefighters accepted a 4 percent pay cut to trim $150,000 from a $300,000 deficit the district faced in the 2011-2012 fiscal year.
“I was embarrassed when one of the firemen asked, ‘What has the board done?’” Armstrong said. “I was ashamed at myself that I did not think of this first.”
Before the 4 percent salary reduction, firefighters agreed to forgo scheduled 2 percent cost-of-living increases in 2009, 2010 and 2011, according to Chief Dan Grebil.
The district has dealt with deficits since the housing market crashed in 2009, lowering home values and property tax revenue.
The board also discussed how many members will attend the Fire Districts Association of California conference each year and what expenses the fire district will pay, but it did not make any changes to its current policy which states the board members may be reimbursed for travel expenses incurred on official district business.
Board President Jane Armstrong, and directors Joshua Warren, Rudy Cabigas and Art Smith voted on the compensation change while Alan Smith was absent.