Boynton Beach: New fire chief takes helm

By Jane Smith

James Stables became chief of the Boynton Beach Fire Department on Jan. 4.
8511277057?profile=RESIZE_180x180“It’s been a whirlwind for the first two days I’ve been here,” Stables said at the Jan. 5 City Commission meeting. “I’m looking forward to getting busy in this great community.”
Stables, 54, has more than 30 years of fire service experience. He most recently was the fire chief in Johnson City, Tennessee. He started as a fire inspector/volunteer firefighter in Wilton Manors in 1985.
Before leaving for the Johnson City position, Stables was the fire chief in Palm Bay. He holds a bachelor’s degree in public administration from the Melbourne branch campus of Barry University.
In Boynton Beach, he will make $144,000 annually and receive 12 vacation days, plus 32 additional vacation hours during his first year.
Boynton Beach provides fire-rescue services to the barrier island towns of Ocean Ridge and Briny Breezes.
Since early June, retired Chief Ray Carter had been the interim Boynton Beach fire chief. That’s when the city manager and former Fire Chief Matt Petty agreed Petty should resign because of his role in the altered mural at the new fire station in Town Square.
“I can’t end the night without thanking Ray Carter for bailing me out and helping us through a difficult time,” City Manager Lori LaVerriere said at the Jan. 5 meeting.
Carter, who retired in 2016, responded, “My pleasure to come back to help during a difficult situation. … But I’m happy to be retiring again.”
He received a standing ovation from commissioners and city staff in the chambers and from the other commissioners and LaVerriere appearing online in the virtual meeting.

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