Thursday, August 11, 2016

President, 4 board members resign from fire association
By Tory Jones Bonenfant
ASCUTNEY — Five members of the Ascutney Volunteer Fire Association (AVFA), including the president and other executive board members, all resigned during the association’s regular meeting on Monday, Aug. 1 for reasons that are still unclear. 

Former AVFA President Kelly Murphy, when reached on Thursday, Aug. 4, said that she had resigned on Monday at a regular monthly meeting of the AVFA, but did not wish to personally provide a copy of her resignation letter to the press. 

Murphy also confirmed that she, along with the AVFA’s vice president, treasurer, a member at large, and a new member who was still under a 6-month probation status, had all resigned on Monday.

Murphy said on Thursday that “an email went out” to the board’s “prior membership” after that meeting, and that it contained Murphy’s resignation letter, the names of the four other board members who resigned, and the minutes of the meeting. That email distribution normally takes place after each monthly meeting, and used to be one of the responsibilities of the group’s secretary, who retired in July, Murphy said. 

Murphy also said that she stands behind her reasons for leaving, but would not say what those are.
“My reasons were completely justified,” she said. 

She also mentioned that this was not the annual meeting in which officers are elected — that meeting took place two months ago, she said. 

Murphy said that her reason for not sharing the letter publicly, now that she has resigned, is because as the president, she was a spokesperson for the group, but when she resigned, she “gave up that right.”

Ascutney Volunteer Fire Department Chief Engineer Darrin R. Spaulding, who serves as second vice president of AVFA and is the only remaining member of that group now, said initially on Tuesday, Aug. 2  he had no comment, but then went on to say that he was not aware of any resignation letter sent out by email.
“People resign all the time,” he said. “They come and go.”

Spaulding said that it was “not unusual” to have resignations.

“There’s nothing bad going on,” Spaulding said.

Spaulding also said on Tuesday that a meeting of the AVFA had taken place on Monday night, Aug. 1, but that “no email went out” concerning a resignation. He also said he wanted to talk with the volunteer fire department’s lawyer before he could consider sharing information on who resigned.

He also said he was concerned that to share the names of who on the board had resigned may “jeopardize their careers.”

The AVFA is separate from the Ascutney Fire Commission, which is responsible for maintaining and improving communications and cooperation between both fire departments and the Weathersfield Selectboard, according to the town’s website. 

An employee at the Weathersfield Town Office said on Monday, Aug. 8 that the AVFA and the Ascutney Volunteer Fire Department are the same organization. 
While both the Ascutney Fire Commission and the Ascutney Fire District No. 2 publishes minutes of their meetings on the Town of Weathersfield municipal website, the AVFA does not post meeting minutes, and is a nonprofit volunteer fire department. 

A Facebook page titled “Ascutney Volunteer Fire Department in Ascutney, Vermont” had no information posted by Monday, Aug. 8 about the meeting or the resignations.

Both the AVFD and the West Weathersfield Volunteer Fire Department are listed under municipal emergency services for the town of Weathersfield.

Calls to several other members of the AVFA and fire commission seeking access to the email and resignation letter were not returned as of Monday, Aug. 8.

No comments:

Post a Comment