PARIS – After an executive session Wednesday, selectmen unanimously appointed former Oxford Fire Chief Scott Hunter as interim chief for six months.
Interim Town Manager Bill Guindon said he was not sure of Hunter’s exact start date.
Hunter was Oxford’s fire chief from 2006 to 2015.
“I look forward to working with the town of Paris,” Hunter said after Wednesday’s meeting.
After an executive session Monday, selectmen appointed Deputy Fire Chief Jon Longley to serve as acting fire chief starting Wednesday, the same day Fire Chief Brad Frost retired.
When asked if he would become the next fire chief, Longley previously said he could not serve as chief and fire instructor at the Region 9 School of Applied Technology in Mexico at the same time.
“I would be doing Paris, the (residents) and the Fire Department a complete disservice,” he said.
Frost retired after 53 years in the fire service. He originally planned to work through fall, but decided to retire early after citing lack of support and respect from the Board of Selectmen.
On Wednesday, Guindon sent an email asking people to thank Frost for his 53 years of service in the Fire Department. Guindon said in his own 40 years in the fire service, Frost is a man especially dedicated to protecting the community.
“Chief Frost is one who stands out as a servant, leadership and dedicated passionate community member,” Guindon wrote. “Chief Frost has demonstrated integrity to ensuring that the town’s best interest is a major item of focus. How many people do you know who are willing to sacrifice their time and talents, sometimes at the darkest hour to help keep their community safe. Even in the midst of public scrutiny, little or no pay Chief Frost never quit. Chief Frost realized that he was more than a fire chief but more importantly a community servant.”
Also Wednesday, the board awarded a road construction contract to Bruce Manzer Inc. for $246,143. Other bidders were Lane Construction and Pike Industries for $266,612 and $265,635, respectively.
Work includes reclaiming Alpine Street and shimming Hooper Ledge Road and Pine Street, according to Town Clerk Liz Knox. The work must be completed no later than Friday, Oct. 21, according to bid documents.
Selectmen accepted Risica’s resignation, effective at theof the board meeting Tuesday, Oct. 11. He announced last month he is heading to Florida for work.
“I wish to thank all the people who have made this job easier,” Risica read from his letter. “Also, I wish to thank the citizens of Paris. You do have a great town.”
The first selectman seat was vacated after Selectman Vic Hodgkins resigned in July before the board appointed him town manager. He begins work Tuesday.
The open seat is for a six-month term.
Also regarding the upcoming election, Knox told selectmen to lease an additional election machine and they voted unanimously to do so.
“I think it’s going to move the lines along,” she said.
Selectman Scott Buffington said one of the most important things to the democratic process is the ability to vote.
“I am afraid if our lines are too long and too slow people are just going to pass by,” he said.