PARIS — The Board of Selectmen will hold an executive session Monday to discuss a personnel matter that led 18 paid volunteer firefighters to resign Wednesday.

Town Manager Dawn Noyes wrote in an email Friday that she, the five selectmen and Fire Department officials will meet behind closed doors at 6 p.m. at the Town Office on Church Street. The selectmen are Chairman Rusty Brackett, Vice Chairman Christopher Summers, Peter Kilgore, Carlton Sprague and Scott McElravy.

Former Fire Chief John Longley said the meeting is mandatory for all members of the Fire Department.

State Rep. John Andrews of Paris said in an email Friday that he had reached out to both sides to try to settle the dispute.

“I will say that I like and respect everyone involved in the current dispute and I am hopeful that they can work out their differences as soon as possible for the good of the town,” he wrote. “I’ve reached out to both sides to let them know that I’m available to help them with whatever they might need to get everyone rowing in the same direction again.”

The mass resignation came Wednesday afternoon after Town Manager Dawn Noyes, along with Human Resources Manager Paula Andrews, apparently reversed a decision on a personnel matter made by Fire Chief Mark Blaquiere. The chief had reduced the rank of an individual in the department, but Noyes reinstated the person’s rank, Longley said.

Blaquiere said Thursday, “No one resigned, because I have the authority to do that. I’m not accepting their resignations. We have a full staff here, and if the bell goes off, we will respond.”

Former longtime Fire Chief Brad Frost was the only firefighter who did not resign Wednesday.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: