Sandra Emerson, Staff Writer
Created: 09/29/2011 02:33:16 PM PDT

UPLAND – The city’s Fire Department is facing some changes in personnel.

Fire Chief Michael Antonucci is retiring today, but will remain on the payroll for a while longer to help manage the department, which could face the potential of three fire captains retiring as well as a temporary loss of a fire captain due to injury.

The City Council, with the exception of Councilwoman Debbie Stone, this week agreed to keep Fire Chief Michael Antonucci on board for no more than six months past his retirement in order to help manage the department during its transition to new leadership.

His contract is not to exceed $90,000.

Antonucci will continue on as chief and will aid in recruiting his replacement, which should begin in November, City Manager Stephen Dunn said.

Dunn initially was going to wait until January to begin recruiting for a new chief, but, in order to cut down on costs, the council asked that he move up the process.

“One thing wasn’t communicated (Monday) was the contract will actually save the city money, because, right now, the city pays just over $23,000 a month for him with compensation, retirement and benefits,” Dunn said. “It’s going to go to $15,000, so we’re saving over $8,000 a month going to this.”

Stone was the only council member to cast a vote against the contract.

“I think we need a change and I think that there’s enough people in the Fire Department who could have stepped up to
the plate instead of spending an additional $90,000 to keep him on,” she said.

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