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Council could re-visit reduction of benefit proposal in December

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POSTED November 26, 2012 2:03 a.m.

RIPON – As elected officials, the Ripon City Council members receive health benefits.

Councilman Chuck Winn, however, would like to see his colleagues follow his lead and take a reduction of this compensation. He brought up this proposal twice during the summer.

City Attorney Tom Terpstra stated that “a council cannot vote to impose a reduction on members who do not wish to have a reduction.”

He added: “Council has a compensation and benefit package that is vested through their term, but no one is entitled to a second term.”

Action was put on hold on until after the election.

 At last count, Mayor Elden ‘Red’ Nutt appears to be the only incumbent to coming back. Meanwhile, Garry Krebbs and Charlie Gay are likely out, thus, paving the way for retired Ripon Unified School District Superintendent Leo Zuber and businessman Jake Parks as the new members.

Nutt, Zuber and Parks hold the top three spots among the seven candidates, with the San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters Office scheduled to certify the November election by next week.

Winn believes the city can save over $200,000, in turn, using the money towards other budget-reduction matters. With 30 years of service in the California Highway Patrol, he’s chosen not to accept the health plan, relying on the benefits he receives from his retirement package.

This past summer, he twice proposed that council members suspend or modify their benefits as way of safeguarding towards a possible budget deficit. The City of Ripon reportedly has $3.8 million in reserve funds.

The new council is expected to be in place for the Tuesday, Dec. 4, meeting.

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