Published DateTo the editor,
After reading another rant from Mr. Leandro relative to his political aspirations and Gilford Engine 4, I did not want to respond but, with his criticisms of me, I had to update the people of Gilford! In recent letters to the editor and e-mails to the selectman and the fire engineers, Mr. Leandro wanted to get the "facts" out but once again he either doesn't know the facts, doesn't want to present the facts, doesn't understand the facts, or just plain doesn't get it in general.
In his rant yesterday, I was overly impressed with his knowledge of trucks. However, my job as a selectman is to control costs and make decisions in a strategic method. In my personal opinion, the repair of Engine 4 still remains in question DUE TO THE FACTS. And these facts are that Engine 4 is costing the people of Gilford, not the $70K that Mr. Leandro was critical of me reporting, but actually $71,555. His rant separated, for some reason, the cost of the truck repair and the pump indicating that we overspent for the pump. He earlier suggested that we look at a used pump. What a great idea — let's put a old used pump into an old used fire truck and create something spectacular. . .? But THE FACT is that we put the pump out for bid and got only one bid. The town did not decide the "most expensive option" but the only option!
Mr. Leandro, in his calculations, also left out the cost of the Gilford DPW repairs How can you do that in estimating the actual costs? THE FACT is that the DPW garage used up 572.5 hours of labor costs totaling $19,992. Did he think that work was free? This effort took their time away from the other Gilford vehicles and equipment. By the way, I'm confident that the Gilford DPW did their usual great job!
So, the bottom line FACTS are that the people of Gilford spent $13,354 on parts and equipment, $19,992 on labor costs, $36,459 on the pump replacement, and $1,750 on a new light bar. Mr. Leandro was totally correct with my earlier dollar amount of $70K being wrong. In real costs we spent well over $71,000 on a twenty-five year old fire truck. The people of Gilford that voted 59 percent to buy a new truck had the right idea. One additional percentage and, in my opinion, we would have made a better investment.
John T. O'Brien