To The Daily Sun,
After reading the latest articles in the paper about the Fire Department vs. the Selectboard, I must say that I'm appalled. I've lived in this town for more than 18 years and typically remain quite. This is the first board of selectman I can remember that has EVER been able to lower taxes and for that I thank them.
The fire chief is currently Joe Hempel III, to my recollection this is his third time. He has quit twice on the town before. Now the selectman are trying to save almost $30,000 to have Chief Hempel be the second person on the shift two days per week, instead of a part-time employee. As long as I can remember this was always the way it was; the chief was always part of covering shifts... until now that is.
Hempel has said he is more of the coach than anything, and its more bang for our buck this way. Including benefits, retirement, and salary the fire chief costs around $100,000/year. Gilmanton Fire Department handles about a call a day on average. Maybe if Coach Hempel helped out a little, Gilmanton could retain some of the full time players. I challenge the chief to explain why he can't work for two days a week to save us $30,000?.