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Ripon council adopts compensation ordinance

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POSTED March 15, 2013 12:46 a.m.

Elected leaders finally amended part of their ordinance that now includes their compensation.

At the recent Ripon City Council meeting, they voted to add health benefits to that section and, at the same time, clarified the reorganization process.

“The changes were made at the request of council,” said City Attorney Tom Terpstra.

The amendment to the policy reads: “Council compensation is based on population and any raises must be approved by vote of the City Council at a public meeting.”

Council agreed to add: “Any increase in cost of health benefit must be approved by vote of the City Council.”

Councilman Leo Zuber wanted to make it clear that “any increase in cost to the city for salary and health benefits, for any reason – it must come to the council for a vote,” he said.

He and Vice Mayor Chuck Winn are the only two members not receiving these perks. Winn, who has a health plan that comes from his California Highway Patrol retirement package, chose not to take benefits in an effort to help the city save money.

“The voting on compensation and health benefits is needed for the council only (and) not for the bargaining units,” he said.

Zuber, who was elected to his post back in November, is the former superintendent for the Ripon Unified School District. He receives some benefits from retirement but still pays out of pocket to include his wife.

Council members, since 1992, have been eligible for health benefits. The last time they received an increase of any kind was about 13 years ago, Terpstra recalled at a previous meeting.

Meanwhile, the reorganization process of council seats now consists of “(taking) place at the first meeting in December during non-election years and, during election years… after election results are certified.”

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