>Sonora / Tuolumne News, Sports, & Weather, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, Jamestown | Union Democrat

News Classifieds Web
web powered by Web Search Powered by Google

Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow Kovacs named Copper fire chief

Kovacs named Copper fire chief

Copperopolis Fire Protection District has named Murphys Fire Chief Steve Kovacs as its new fire chief as Calaveras County fire departments continue to find ways to combine resources.

Kovacs, 44, has been the Murphys fire chief for the past six years and will continue in that part-time role after assuming the Copperopolis position effective July 1.


He replaces Jeff Millar, who was forced to retire from the chief position after the California Public Employees Retirement System changed its rules regarding pensioners working part-time for other PERS agencies. 

Millar had worked more than 28 years with Cal Fire before joining Copperopolis.

Raised in Arnold, Kovacs started his career in 1981 with the Ebbetts Pass Fire District. He was promoted to engineer in 1987, captain in 2000 and battalion chief in 2007 with that agency. Kovacs said he plans to resign from the Ebbetts Pass district shortly after stepping into the Copperopolis role.

The announcement comes less than a month after Copperopolis reached an agreement with Murphys to provide clerical services for the district after Office Manager Belva Bristol retired.

On July 1, the Foothill and Jenny Lind fire districts near Valley Springs will take a step toward consolidation with a joint powers agreement that puts them on track to becoming the Calaveras Consolidated Fire District. 

The agencies have been sharing Kim Olson as fire chief since May 1 and Jenny Lind submitted a winning bid when Foothill sought a contract for its administrative services. Olson said Foothill and Jenny Lind will likely move from two to one board of directors soon after the JPA takes effect.

Unlike that arrangement, Copperopolis and Murphys will not share a chief position filled by Kovacs but each remains a separate job. Kovacs said his Copperopolis salary will be set at $78,000 annually, the mid-range in a stated salary span between $60,000 and $96,000 advertised for the position.

However, Kovacs does note “there are more and more agencies doing things together, sharing resources and equipment.”

“We’re trying to provide the same services to the public with less money,” he said.

Olson thinks consolidation may become more common in an economically stressed county with 11 fire districts.

“There’s talk,” he said. “There’s a lot of people looking at how we do more with less as we’re dealing with lowered property tax (revenue) … it only make sense to look at consolidation.”

Fewer districts require less reserve equipment, Olson said, which can be a major cost savings.

Follow UnionDemocrat.com

Get Today's Top Headlines to your inbox

The Union Democrat print edition

The Union Democrat 11/28/15

View Paper

The Union Democrat is now online in a Replica E-edition form and publishes Tuesday through Saturday. E-Edition or Print Plus subscribers have full access.


If you are not a current subscriber, subscribe today for immediate access. Circulation: 209-533-3614

View all The Union Democrat print publications

Weekender by The Union Democrat

Weekly Arts and entertainment guide for Calaveras and Tuolumne counties

Weekender 11/26/15

View Guide

Available online every Friday or get it early in Thursday's print edition.

View past copies of the weekender

Local / Sports / Business / Stocks / News of Record / State / Nation/World / Obituaries / Submit News
Editorials / Letters
Union Democrat Photos / Community Photos /
Search Classifieds / Jobs / Autos / Homes / Rentals / Place an Ad
Online Extras
Weather / Local Business Links / Community Links / Photo Reprints
Union Democrat
About / Contact / Commercial Printing / Subscriptions / Terms of Use / Site Map

© Copyright 2001 - 2015 Western Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. By Using this site you agree to our Terms of Use