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410-641-0039

Power struggle between Berlin Fire Co. and town

The
recent ramping up of the power struggle between the Berlin Fire Company and the
town serves no purpose other than to try to heighten the concerns of residents who
so far have refrained from looking at the issue from an emotional standpoint.

By
calling for a show of resident support at the upcoming council meeting, the
fire company is putting the town in a difficult position. The town managed to
avoid being included in a recently filed lawsuit by having taken corrective
action once grievances were brought to their attention. However, now restoring
funding without any action being taken by the fire company on personnel named
in the suit could leave the town running the risk of being a party to any fire
company actions.

Additional
questions will certainly be raised on whether taxpayer funds should be used to
defend the fire company in the lawsuit and if any of those funds are also being
used to defend the individuals themselves.

Certainly,
it is in everyone’s best interest for the town to resume funding the fire
company at a level required to provide proper emergency service. However, rather
than stir additional controversy, the fire company has at its disposal an easy
remedy by asking the four members of the company named in the lawsuit to step
aside as the issue is settled by the court.

Now
is not the time for the fire company to stubbornly refuse to put interim
personnel in place as doing so allows the town to look at refunding without
putting town taxpayer dollars at risk.