The Sonora City Council voted 5-0 in a public meeting Monday night to allow Fire Chief Aimee New to serve as a consultant to the Chicken Ranch Tribe of the Me-Wuk Indians as they design and develop a new open fire station. 24 hours in Jamestown. area.
New is expected to provide consulting services in connection with the construction of the new fire station, the procurement of fire station vehicles, and any other equipment needed at the new fire station.
City staff say they have met with tribal leaders to discuss the needs of the tribe and believe that partnering with the tribe on the new fire station will provide much-needed emergency response resources for the city and the county of Tuolumne.
The city government will be paid by the hour for the services New provides as a consultant because it is employed by the city.
Outgoing city manager Mary Rose Rutikanga said in a staff report to the council that the tribe will fully reimburse New’s weighted hourly wage costs. New earned $ 124,740 in total wages and $ 29,292 in health and retirement contributions in 2017.
“This consulting agreement from the state of California before you is to get the project off the ground,” Rutikanga told the five-member council Monday night.
The new fire station will be on a Chicken Ranch tribe property in the Jamestown area and is expected to open in late 2023 or early 2024, before the new tribe complex that is currently under construction is completed. The duration of the consulting contract is two years.
“Thank you for building this bridge with our Native American community,” Mayor Matt Hawkins told New. “Thank you, New Chief. This is really amazing. “
Councilwoman Colette Such asked New: “When are you going to sleep?”
“When I’m dead,” New said blankly. “There will be a lot of late nights, but it will be worth it in the long run. They are open to suggestions and I am looking forward to receiving them. “
County Supervisor David Goldemberg, a retired firefighter representing District 1 spanning the city and surrounding areas, told the council that he is in favor of anything that can be done to supplement the county fire department and increase coverage and general fire protection for the county. whole.
Councilmember Mark Plummer said he appreciates New’s role as a fire professional.
On other city business, Rutikanga announced Monday night that it was his last council meeting before leaving for his new job overseeing US Peace Corps operations in Africa.
“It has been a privilege to work with the city these last two years,” Rutikanga said. “I am grateful for the opportunity.”
Rutikanga announced in November that she had accepted an offer from the Peace Corps to be the agency’s director of management and operations for the Africa region. It will be stationed at the United States Embassy in Cameroon, a West Central African nation between Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea.
City staff are expected to search, recruit and hire a replacement for Rutikanga, who has been in the city since January 2020. Her last day on the job will be January 14.