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Bender retained for fire chief post

Topeka Fire Chief Stewart Bender was retained for a further two years Monday.

The Topeka Town Council met with Clearspring Township Trustee Melissa Lewton Monday afternoon to discuss a recommendation to keep Bender in the fire chief post. It was noted that the fire board felt that the position needed to remain. However, Lewton noted that neither she nor Eden Township had budgeted for a raise for the position.

The town council voted to retain Bender with the same raise as given to other employees, which would be covered by the town and not the townships.

The council discussed the use of the fire department vehicle assigned to the chief and wanted to ensure that it was being used for fire responses only and not Emergency Management business. Bender also serves as the county’s emergency management director. The council discussed having a log kept of mileage and activity related to the vehicle.