The City of Piedmont will most likely begin the recruitment process to replace retiring Fire Chief Edward Tubbs immediately, but it's not clear yet if the City of Albany will share the new chief's services.
Piedmont City Administrator Geoffrey Grote said Friday that under the current job-sharing agreement between the two cities, Piedmont cannot automatically substitute a new chief — the agreement is tied specifically to Tubbs' services. The substitution of a new chief would require an amendment, he said. Otherwise it will end with Tubbs' retirement.
In addition, Grote said, it's possible that the Piedmont City Council may decide that a new chief should work exclusively for the Piedmont Fire Department, at least during the first few months of his or her tenure.
Grote said he and Albany City Manager Beth Pollard have started discussions on the fire chief issue and plan to confer again Wednesday morning.
Tubbs announced his retirement last week. It will be effective at the end of May, 2013.
Tubbs joined the Piedmont Fire Department as its chief in August, 2010. In April of the following year, Albany and Piedmont agreed to a one-year pilot program where Tubbs would split his time between the two cities. The job-share program was renewed for another two years in April of 2012.
Grote said he will ask the Piedmont City Council tonight for an appropriation to begin the recruitment process for a new fire chief.
Before the city can publish a formal description of the job, though, city council members will need to decide if a new fire chief's services would be available to Albany immediately or if they would prefer a "breaking in" period where the new person worked solely for the Piedmont Fire Department, Grote said.
Tubbs worked exclusively for Piedmont for several months before the two cities agreed to share his services, Grote noted.
Tubbs is an employee of the City of Piedmont, while the City of Albay contracts for his services.
Under the initial agreement, Tubbs got a 10 percent raise for the extra work of managing two departments, for a total of about $266,750 in salary and benefits. He continued to be a Piedmont municipal employee, with Albany reimbursing the city for its share of his pay.
The program saved Piedmont about $111,000 in its first year, while Albany saved about $85,000.
In Albany, Tubbs replaced Fire Chief Marc McGinn, who officially retired in the summer of 2010 but continued working on a salary-only basis until the job-share program went into effect.