My name is David T. Fuller and I have served my town of Weathersfield in a number of capacities previously (Select Board-School Board and Emergency Management person during 2011 — Tropical Storm Irene). I am now a candidate for the three-year seat on the Select Board and ask for your vote on March 5.
I have farmed here since 1977, my father served before me and now, my daughter is on the ballot for the School Board, marking three generations of family public service. One of the greatest joys of this for me is meeting people I normally would not, and for that, I am grateful — nothing to do with politics, new friendships.
Having said that, I am troubled by the direction and path taken to merge our two volunteer fire departments. The Select Board’s timeline of motions/actions, even on their own story page (town website) did not foster consensus on this issue. And there is none. One department has said “yes.” One has voted “no.” It has been portrayed as a no-brainer, not costing any more money, even with a new $112,000 fire chief, who will, according to the documents, be selected in the end solely by the town manager and as a new department head, under only the town manager for review.
The Select Board only hires a town manager. I think it very important that all of our volunteer fire people think about that again. Presently, they can, and do, democratically control their own internal destiny.
I have read the Wood report and was part of the initial act to study the fire services of the town. It is not the Bible.
It is a piece of information that we can use. It did not say to form a municipal fire department. It has several options and suggestions. In my years of serving the town, I have seen a number of “gifts” and arrangements that the town has made with conditions. With something this important, there can be none.
I have no problem talking about a single fire department, but will not be part of bulldozing over one to get to another.
You simply cannot get any agreement by meeting separately and talking about it later to each other — which is what has happened here. During Irene, I was part of a 10-15 person team who met every morning at 8 a.m. — all at the same table, all at the same time.
We will have a chance to vote on this as Article 9 on the warning March 5. There are several important issues that the Town will also take up this year that I have past knowledge of. I want to help resolve these so that the results can: 1. Be easily explained and 2. Are equitable to all landowners in the town. I ask for your vote and confidence in my ability.
David T. Fuller lives in Perkinsville.