To The Daily Sun,
In response to the recent article and letter in the paper concerning the Gilmanton Fire Department,I would like to make the following observations:
Why are the selectmen relying on a warrant article from 2004 — a 10 year-old article? If the voters are important, why are selectmen preventing them from speaking out now?
Why are the Selectmen violating RSA 154:5, which gives the authority to the fire chief to manage the department?
Why has a $10K reduction in budget now become a $20K reduction?
Of course such a reduction cuts services. Of course such a change in policy is a way to micromanage the Fire Department. Of course this is personal attack on the fire chief. Of course personnel will feel undervalued and move on. Of course the fire chief's comments in his letter explain why the new policy is flawed.
I disagree that the selectmen are "acting in the best financial and public service interest of the town". I believe that the new policy is detrimental and dangerous. What if the Fire Department is not there when you need them?
If there are any complaints about the Fire Department, I have never heard them. In fact my personal experience is that the department is very efficient and professional and responds quickly to calls for service.
The selectmen should reconsider this policy adjustment, comply with the law, restore funding to the department, and allow the fire chief to do the job that he was hired to do.