Editor, Townsman:

A recent article states that Town Manager Andrew Flanagan will allow fire Chief Michael Mansfield to stay in his position while he reviews the basis of the firefighters union’s no-confidence vote in their chief.

If the firefighters in town have lost faith in their leader, with the firefighters being an essential aspect in our society, the town manager should remove the chief and allow for someone new.

The firefighters union is complaining of a hostile work environment, lack of communication, safety issues and violations of collective bargaining agreements. There have also been incidents of poor management involving the recent purchase of a ladder truck that was too tall to fit under the Horn Bridge.

That ladder truck, which cost the town over $1 million, was returned to the manufacturer. According to the union, that’s left them using a 20-year-old spare truck. The spare truck has minimal tools, no radios and a broken water tank.

The town manager should remove the chief from his position and bring in someone new. If the firefighters do not have full confidence in their leader, why should the public?

The Fire Department should not be run, or have to deal with, the problems that form the basis of the union’s complainant.

Billy Walsh



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