To The Daily Sun,
I think it was very thoughtful for Chief Hempel's neighbor, Joanne Gianni, to write a letter in support of her friend. She made many "observations".
1. Why are the selectmen relying on a 10-year-old warrant article voted on in 2004? It's the job of the selectmen to follow the vote of the people. A few weeks ago the Firemen's Assoc. showed up in force against the new warrant article, so the selectmen deleted it from the warrant.
2. Does Mrs. Gianni think the selectmen would be foolish enough to set a policy that wasn't legal?
3. How does the $20,000 reduction cut services? Mrs. Gianni gives no example. The only affect it will have is on the per diem staff who will no longer earn $200 per day to fill full-time shifts.
4. I don't believe the policy change is an attempt to micromanage, it's just following the will of the people. Had the chief been willing to make the schedule change on his own, a policy would not have been necessary.
5. How is this a personal attack on the fire chief? Mrs. Gianni gives no example.
6. Why would this cause the personnel to feel undervalued? The Gilmanton FF/EMT's do a wonderful job serving the town's people and the selectmen have never said anything to the contrary. The chief should not be dragging down his department because he doesn't want to fill two shifts.
7. Mrs. Gianni states, "I believe that the new policy is detrimental and dangerous"? How so, she doesn't give any example.
Right now the chief is the only one enjoying every weekend off. He can still continue his weekends off and if he chooses to handle the scheduling change properly, each full-time employee could have four months a year with weekends off. The morale might improve with a schedule change. Each full-time employee would have a chance to work weekday shifts, not just the chief and one chosen employee (who had a fixed schedule) as had been practiced in the past. Maybe this is a little unknown fact that Joanne Gianni wasn't aware of.
Although I understand Mrs. Gianni's attempt at wanting to side with her neighbor's position, it appears she doesn't have any facts to support her stance.
EMT & Taxpayer