Wanted: Candidate for Fire Committee

Wanted: Candidate for Fire Committee

CUMBERLAND – If you live in the southern end of town and have always wanted to have a hand in local government, this might be your year.

Back in late June, Fire Committee Chairwoman Cindy Ouellette said there was still some time to figure out how to fill a seat that no one apparently wanted following a declaration period where no one filed paperwork to run.

Time is almost up.

Departing District 1 Fire Committee member Richard Hayden previously ran as a write-in candidate for the seat after no one declared their intention to seek it. Now, less than three weeks from the Nov. 3 election, the committee charged with running the Cumberland Fire District is in need of another write-in candidate.

Committee member Paul Santoro said this week that someone needs to step up as a write-in candidate for the seat, and he’s willing to help them with the process. Santoro, who is looking to make a challenge for the chairmanship, said there have been no rumored names for the seat, but he wants to start generating some buzz about the available post.

“We’re running out of time,” said Ouellette this week. No one seems to want what is often a thankless job of running the district, she said.

Ouellette said the next move if no one runs as a write-in candidate would likely be for the Town Council to appoint a willing participant to the seat. Ouellette, of District 3, is the only committee member facing a challenge this year, with former member James Scullin seeking her seat.


Easiest way to make this problem go away is to make the fire department a real town department. Turn the fire Committee into an advisory board like other boards/commissions and let the Mayor and Council make the financial decisions. Town residents will stop paying for duplication as many of the financial processes are also being done on the Town side. Also the Fire Fighter union has picked off many of the fire board seats. You can't let the inmates run the asylum. It's bad for the residents. Let's get this done and move forward.

My name is Roger Dunn. I am a resident in District 1 and I am interested and willing to serve on the Cumberland Fire Committee. Your article is nice in letting us know a candidate is needed but does not say how you should go about showing interest or who to contact.

Perhaps it is time to give serious thought to making it a Town Fire Department rather than a district so that it would be under the control of the Mayor and Town Council as it should be and as it is for other Town Departments.
What does it take to do this: a voter referendum, a Town ordinance?
Town officials, what say you?

Please fill in the oval and write in the name Craig A. Charbonneau for fire committee district 1 . Thank you and stay safe !

All you need to do is run a campaign and get people to write your name in.