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Move to make sure council benefits are a public matter

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POSTED February 19, 2013 1:30 a.m.

Since 1992, elected leaders have been eligible for health benefits as part of their perks.

The last time Ripon Council members received an increase of any kind was nearly 13 years ago, according to City Attorney Tom Terpstra.

At tonight’s 7 o’clock meeting, they’ll look to amend the policy that reads: “Council compensation is based on population and any raises must be approved by vote of the City Council.”

“Health benefits are a much larger cost to the city, and should be included in the ordinance,” Vice Mayor Chuck Winn said at the previous meeting.

“This has to be a policy decision,” Terpstra said.

Winn and his colleague, Leo Zuber, recently opted against taking the health plan.

For Winn, he chose not to receive these benefits in an effort to help the city save money. Instead, his health plan comes from his retirement package based on his services with the California Highway Patrol.

Zuber is the retired superintendent of the Ripon Unified School District. He still pays a portion for benefits that include his wife.

“Council cannot give themselves benefits that are better than the employees,” Zuber said.

He added: “Any changes should be done in a public meeting.”

Zuber, meanwhile, would also like to see some changes to the Council agenda.

“Why are resolutions on the Consent Calendar?” he asked at the Feb. 5 session.

Mayor Dean Uecker assigned Zuber and Jake Parks to the committee in charge of discussing the writing of the agenda.

The Council Chamber is located at 259 N. Wilma Ave.

For more information, call 209-599-2108 or log on to

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