Board member Bert Berkshire brought this item up two weeks ago and it failed by a 3-2 vote, but it passed Wednesday after board member Charles Christensen changed his vote.
Resident Carolyn Fisher said she had concerns with the board looking into the overtime issue.
“I think we are approaching the issue of micromanaging,” Fisher said, mentioning this item should be left up to Fire Chief Nazih Hazime.
Fisher said overtime in the private sector is different from this type of work and pay in the public arena.
Berkshire said all he is proposing is a goal for the fire district to attempt to reach.
“I did not want to put a hard and fast percentage on it,” he said. “I hope this not looked as micromanagement.”
Christensen said the overtime issue has been a contentious one for quite some time and disagreed with Fisher with it being micromanaging.
“This is setting policy that the board carries out,” he said, adding it is their job to look at areas like overtime.
Christensen said overtime pay for supervisory employees, especially battalion chiefs is wrong and needs to stop.
Hazime said the district takes overtime very seriously and has already reduced it by 15 to 16 percent.
He said it had not reached 25 percent, but was a goal it wanted to reach.
Board member Don Harr said the news was encouraging and told Hazime the district was two-third of the way toward 25 percent.
Christensen said he thinks there need to be some guidelines to decide who is eligible for overtime.
Board member Liza Vernet agreed with Fisher on how overtime in the public and private sector cannot be compared.
She also said she does not think the district needs a mandate.
“I think it’s being handled,” she said.
Hazime said, while it is true the fire district is a different type of organization than most companies, he realizes it is accountable.
Christensen wanted to know why battalion chiefs were receiving so much overtime when they should not get any extra pay.
Business Director Karen Daines said battalion chiefs are part of the staffing and the position needs to be covered.
“We can’t expect them to work additional hours and not be compensated,” she said.
Christensen said supervisors should be exempt from receiving overtime and added when taking a management position, it means the individual will take on more work.
Graves said he wants the chief to continue with what he is doing since overtime has already been decreased.
Berkshire said he has never known an organization that wishes not to have a clear goal.
When Hazime was asked if the district could decrease overtime another 10 percent to reach the 25 percent, he said it would depend on disasters and injuries.