Published DateTo the editor,
Mr. O'Brien is once again WRONG. Yes, the DPW did commit a lot of labor hours to rebuilding Engine 4. However, the salaries for the garage staff is fully funded though the annual budget and the Town of Gilford would be paying the same for labor cost weather Engine 4 was repaired or not. NO additional cost for labor was put on the taxpayers of Gilford. Mr. O'Brien knows this, we had this conversation and this was the prime advantage to having the work done at the DPW rather than farming it out. Listening to Mr. O'Brien now, one would think that the selectman was prepared to make lay-offs at the DPW had Engine 4 not been there. Not so! John O'Brien is once again playing loose and fast with the facts.
Yes Mr. O'Brien, there was additional options for the pump; however the Fire Engineers were too bitter over not getting what they wanted to give the taxpayers a break. Yes, a used pump was an option, but not an "old" used pump, but a pump out of an engine that was wrecked with less than 50 pump hours on it that we could have purchased from a salvage yard in PA for $3,500. I researched this, and called the manufacturer of the pump with the serial numbers off both pumps and discovered that they were absolutely compatible in every way. I presented all this information to the Selectboard in an e-mail. This was such a bad Idea that you, JOHN O'BRIEN, publicly presented the idea as if was your own. . . but that was when you were running for state representative and pretending to be a conservative, by mimicking me. I guess you gave up the "independent thinking conservative" lie, and decide to go back to being a big spending liberal.
Another option would have been to purchase a new pump at approximately $17k and install it ourselves at the DPW or possibly worked out a deal to have the pump technician at the Laconia DPW install it. Why do John O'Brien and his handlers at the Board of Fire Engineers always instinctively push for the most expensive options and blindly dismiss any option that could save the taxpayers money?
I stand by my statement that re-building Engine 4 will end up costing Gilford taxpayers approximately $50k as there are NO ADDITIONAL labor costs for work performed at our very capable DPW garage.
I did find it ironic that Mr. O' Brien thinks that his "opinion" of what's best, fixing up an older truck or replacing it, matters, as he has never done either! I, however, have done both. . . several times. Perhaps he considers himself one of Gilford's much famed "experts".
John O'Brien signed his letter with the title "Gilford Selectman". As we all know, John O'Brien has no authority to speak for the Board of Selectman. I have never added the title "Gilford Budget Committeeman" to any letter I've written, as I do not speak for the Budget Committee. . . and I respect the fact that some members may not agree with me. But I, unlike John O'Brien, don't need a title or office to establish my credibility.
Also John, please remember the old adage "close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades". For example, I lost my bid for a state rep seat by only six votes (you lost by what. . . about 2400?). Close? Yes. . . but that doesn't matter because I lost, so I am not a state rep, and I am okay with that. You need to get a grip, Article 1 FAILED and no matter how close it was, Gilford is not purchasing a new fire truck this year. . . that is not even an option!