OUR VIEW: No mulligan this time .... try voting again

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 Chiefland Fire Chief James Harris’ name was on the tip of more than a few tongues last week after the news that after a year on the job his paycheck is growing by more than 20 percent.

Last summer, during budget talks, the City Commission asked him to cut the fire department budget and he refused saying it would harm service.

Fast forward to the chief’s evaluation and contract renewal in February. Harris asked for and got an extra $9,000. Harris justified the pay request, according to the official minutes, by saying when he took the job he did not realize the problems within the department, plus he has continued his education. He also cited demands of the job as being so great it affects his personal life.

Harris told the commission he wanted compensation despite a freeze on hiring, promotions and raises.

He said it was not a raise, but “parity” with a police chief and a city manager, both of whom have put in several years on the job.

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