Fire chief retires

Spring Lake Township officials have worked out an agreement with Township Fire Chief Rick Nuvill that will pay him an additional year's salary, even though he recently retired.
Marie Havenga
Feb 22, 2013


“We came to an agreement with him that included his retirement,” Township Manager Gordon Gallagher said.

Nuvill served 37 years with the Spring Lake Fire Department and most recently earned nearly $32,000 as a part-time fire chief. His retirement was effective Feb. 10, according to Gallagher.

Nuvill will now work as a consultant to the department on an as-needed basis for one year, Gallagher said. He will be paid $31,832.

Gallagher said he does not want to refer to the pay as a buyout.

“His compensation for consulting will be equal to his last year's pay,” Gallagher said. “If we have questions about things, he basically has said we can get in touch with him.”

Nuvill did not immediately return phone calls from the Tribune.

Gallagher said he and Nuvill had talked about the plan for a while.

“We offered the agreement to him and he accepted,” Gallagher said. “We had talked about it and felt this was the right time for a transition.”

The manager said there will be “short-term cost savings.”

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



Man, I gotta get me a goverment job! 1 years salary for consulting!!!????
To bad I won't get a 1 year BONUS when I retire from the private sector!


This is not right, and it typifies what is wrong with government. If this fellow has retired, sail off into the sunset, collect your pension and go fishing. Instead, cronyism and the old-boy network continues, regardless of the language and reasoning in which it is couched. What could possibly justify a $32,000 consultant on an "as-needed" basis for a year? Are there not current employees who can be consulted? Thanks for your service, Chief, but this reeks of a sweetheart deal.


I would certainly hope that there are a few current firefighters that have a thorough knowledge of the Department and operations. The Chief's experience is certainly valuable but there should always be someone qualified as a backup for any position. And if the retirement had been discussed "for a while" as the story indicates some sort of succession planning should have been discussed that would identify qualified internal candidates and allow one to take over the position for a seamless transition. Or a replacement could have been named and trained "for a while"


This has the usual under the table local politics stink written all over it. You would think for an important position as the fire chief we the tax payers would of had knowledge of this proposal prior to the meeting. I question how legal giving a separation agreement payout is. Does Spring Lake Twp and Spring Lake Village offer a retirement for the fire chief position??? Or is this from the chief not agreeing with the proposed combined public safety for the tri-cities. But remember the the SL Twp Treasuer was the Deputy Chief of the fire department hopefully he did not vote.


Appears that he was paid to not return the phone call to the tribune. I've heard about the practice of "hush money" where people are fired and then they are paid to keep quiet. If that is the case, is the township trying to hide something? Seems more appropriate for a private company but not a governmental entity.


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