Westport fire chief resigns

Posted:  Tuesday, January 16, 2018 - 3:30pm

Westport Island’s Fire Chief Robert Mooney will leave the volunteer fire department Jan. 31.

Mooney provided selectmen with a letter about his intention to leave the department at a mid-December meeting.

Citing his 11 years as chief and 25 years in total on the department, Mooney’s letter said his goal has been to “leave something better than I found it.”

He went on to explain, “I believe it’s time for someone with new perspective, management and leadership skills to take over.” Mooney told the Wiscasset Newspaper he felt the department needed more vitality and more volunteers and he thought a change would bring that.

In a separate phone interview, Roger Higgins, president of the fire department’s board of directors, praised Mooney’s work. “He kept the department alive,” Higgins said. “If it hadn’t been for him, the department would have folded.”

Higgins said Stacey Hutchison will serve as the new chief.

Commenting on Mooney’s decision at their meeting Jan. 15, selectmen expressed their appreciation for all he has done for the department and the town.

Also Monday night, resident Jeff Tarbox notified selectmen the planning board is looking for a qualified candidate to join the board. Those interested can contact the selectmen or the planning committee.

Gaye Wagner, town clerk and registrar of voters, brought the town’s first book of records to show selectmen the work that was done to preserve the document. The book contains vital records and town meeting minutes, giving a glimpse of island life between 1828 and the 1860s. 

Kofile of Dallas, Texas provided the work which included cleaning and de-acidifying the pages as well as encapsulating and digitizing the book’s pages. Kofile estimated the work at $2,162. With the help of First Selectman George Richardson, the cost was negotiated to keep within the $2,000 approved by residents. 

Selectmen proposed members to serve on the comprehensive plan committee. The island’s last comprehensive plan was completed in 2002 and a revised plan is needed.

Proposed members are: History Committee: Jeff Tarbox, Planning Board: Richard Barker, Harbor Committee: Dana Faulkingham, Shellfish Committee: Lincoln Richardson, Road Commission: James Cromwell, Plumbing Inspector: Jerry Bodmer, Conservation Commission: Dennis Dunbar, Code Enforcement Officer: Gary Richardson, Ferry landing committee: Richard DeVries, Harbor Master: Frank Gallagher. The member representing the fire department will be determined later.

A public hearing will be held at 7 p.m. Jan. 22 at the town office to adopt the general assistance ordinance appendices A-D for 2017-18.

The town is requesting proposals for painting the interior walls and windows of the town hall. Call William Cooney at 882-6845 for more information.