Chief Wentzell tells it like it is...

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Chief Wentzell tells it like it is...

Post by T on Fri Dec 19, 2008 12:23 pm

From the Lewiston Sun Journal:

FD issues reach boiling point

RUMFORD - Simmering frustration over issues concerning the Fire Department boiled over at Thursday night's Board of Selectmen meeting.

During his department report, fire Chief Gary Wentzell, who was hired in August under a six-month contract, hinted at resigning after telling the board that problems he was hired to help resolve are insurmountable.

"Farrin quotes Wentzell as saying that certain town officials misled the public into believing that $75,000 of overtime was associated with first responder EMS duties."

"Wentzell defended his comments in Farrin's story during his department report and attacked Belanger's comments"

""I feel that this community has been completely misled through the budget process and I feel that this has affected the Fire Department and issues regarding manning the fire station," Wentzell said."

"I have serious concerns about if I want to be involved with the direction this town is headed in," Wentzell said."

""Cutting our EMS to save $95,000 is completely false," he [Wentzell] said."

"Wentzell then said that because of this "wrong" information, he didn't want any part of this year's budget process."

"Wentzell piped back, "So, you [Greaney] don't want the public to know what's going on?"

""I've pretty much seen enough . . . I don't want any part of you not sticking up for EMS calls, but I will stick up for the fact that the town was given incorrect information. That's all I have to say," Wentzell said, before trying to leave."

""We're as good as any department in the state. It's a shame that we can't get together and mend this, but there are too many issues. It's not worth it. This is not working and I don't see that it's going to mend itself. However, we know what we're doing when we get to a call," Wentzell said and returned to his seat."

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Re: Chief Wentzell tells it like it is...

Post by KevinNSaisi on Fri Dec 19, 2008 4:28 pm

Wentzell has many good ideas on how to save money in the department. If everybody would stop bickering, perhaps he could discuss the ideas with them.
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Re: Chief Wentzell tells it like it is...

Post by T on Fri Dec 19, 2008 11:17 pm

From The Lewiston Sun Journal blog:

Posted By:Mike at December 19, 2008 8:04 AM (Suggest Removal)
Wow, RT really is arrogant and ignorant. The minutes are a record of what was said at the minute. HE can't demand that something is removed because HE thinks it is inaccurate. If it was said, it should go in the minutes.

Posted By:David at December 19, 2008 8:06 AM (Suggest Removal)
Once again, the wrecking crew in Rumford drives away another talented and respected manager.

Posted By:Mike at December 19, 2008 8:07 AM (Suggest Removal)
The article really makes it sound like Belanger started the comments that should have been done in executive session, not Wentzell.

Posted By:Red at December 19, 2008 8:31 AM (Suggest Removal)
You're a good man Gary, but don't stay at the circus too long. It's obvious that the clowns want you on the tightrope. Snows coming, let's ride.

Posted By:Read it Right at December 19, 2008 9:07 AM (Suggest Removal)
Didn't Belanger also tell the town that Sheriff Wayne Gallant contacted him offering to provide police coverage for Rumford? Didn't Belanger accuse others of "dirty politics" when Sheriff Wayne Gallant stood up to deny Belangers claim? It sure seems as though Belanger has a history of "misleading" the public. In fact, his police coverage statements smack of outright lies. Now, more of the misleading actions and statements of the selectment and finance commitee are coming to light. Why do town finance finance issues need to go to executive session? The town finances are the taxpayers monies. Yet the selectmen don't want the taxpayers to know what they are doing with it? How can the selectmen be trusted? It seems anytime there is an issue concerning their actions, everything goes to executive session. Good way to not have to explain yourself, I guess.

Posted By:Mel at December 19, 2008 9:13 AM (Suggest Removal)
Gary, they thought you would be a "yes Man" when they offered you the position. Thank God you have integrity and morals. Keep fighting the good fight and don't let them bully you. We all believe in you.

Posted By:
Timeout at December 19, 2008 9:54 AM (Suggest Removal)
Mel, you took the words right out of my mouth...I second all that.

Posted By:Timeout at December 19, 2008 9:55 AM (Suggest Removal)
What a tremendous disservice done to the town by Therriault, etc. No wonder they want it taken from the record.

Posted By:anon at December 19, 2008 10:07 AM (Suggest Removal)
Under what policy would comments about budget numbers or budget process be considered executive session material? Someone ought to be looking at that more closely!

Posted By:Ph.D.iva at December 19, 2008 10:47 AM (Suggest Removal)
COME ONE-COME ALL, TO THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH.....LOLOL..........

Posted By:
SunnyAz at December 19, 2008 11:32 AM (Suggest Removal)
You go for it Gary!! It's about time someone stood up to those people. Twenty years ago, it was the same thing. Nothing changes in that town. Glad I left. Get out while you still have your dignity.

Posted By:
9lives at December 19, 2008 12:53 PM (Suggest Removal)
Wentzell for town manager

Posted By:Curious at December 19, 2008 1:33 PM (Suggest Removal)
Gary for town manager. I love it. But he would never be appointed by the big three running the big top, he's HONEST. He doesn't sugarcoat everything, and he has enough balls to tell them how it is.

Posted By:
YAMAHA at December 19, 2008 1:51 PM (Suggest Removal)
You go Gary. Do not let those ASS CLOWNS bully you. Stick up for what is right. Do not walk away cause that is what those Ass CLOWN BULLY'S want. By walking away shows weakness fight for what you believe in and you will win and so won't the towns people. For those of us who care about our town.

Posted By:oijo at December 19, 2008 2:47 PM (Suggest Removal)
Don't walk away Gary. We need you to stand up to the idiots running this town.

Posted By:richard at December 19, 2008 3:04 PM (Suggest Removal)
I have a girlfriend that is a cousin of Gary Wentzell, and believe me when they know they are right they stand up for themselves. I have never met him and I am not from the Rumford area,but my g/f is. Sounds to me like Wentzell knows what hes talking about but,I WOULD NOT BLAME HIM FOR WALKING AT ALL. Rumford is one messed up town and noone is gonna change it....Good luck Gary...

Posted By:
FireDawg at December 19, 2008 3:19 PM (Suggest Removal)
I feel bad for the citizens of Rumford because it is quite apparent that their town officials have no concern for their safety and wellbeing. These town "leaders" will find any excuse to tear this fire department down so they can get at the Union. That is what all this is about... The Union. With the Union in place they can only micro-manage so far. In regards to yesterday's article about the Union fundraiser, seriously guys get a clue, you have no control over what the Union does with it's funds from a fundraiser. You should be grateful that they are looking at giving back to the community. As far as EMS goes, does the Fire Dept need to respond on all medical calls? No probably not but having been involved in Fire and EMS for quite some time now it is very nice to have a couple extra sets of hands on a medical call, especially depending on the severity of the call and the location. $85,000 savings from not going on medical calls? Get real, the only reason money was saved is because they reduced minimum staffing, which as was mentioned allows them to do nothing upon arriving to an actual fire. You think you're saving money now? Wait until you get sued because someone dies a block away from a fire station staffed by medically trained firefighters and the only reason they didnt respond was because the town will not let them go on medical calls because it is a "duplication of service" and "saves money". Maybe Rumford officials should look at other departments to see how a modern fire department is opperated and see the importnace of EMS before they try to start micro-managing.

Posted By:
gary at December 19, 2008 3:34 PM (Suggest Removal)
Gary stay and straighten out the circus.you are a good man

Posted By:
concerned at December 19, 2008 3:43 PM (Suggest Removal)
Great job gary, you are whats needed by the people of this town. Its the first time in a long time they had heard any city offical tell the truth. The union busting town manager and his lap dog selectmen will never admit thier true agenda, do away with the paide guys and go back to volunteers and the days of 20 minute response times

Posted By:bert at December 19, 2008 3:48 PM (Suggest Removal)
stay gary the town and firefighters need you , you show leadership when the selectmen show nothing .you lead when the selectmen mislead ,to the town folk june is coming around the corner time to vote the bullies out.

Posted By:Paula & Heather at December 19, 2008 4:09 PM (Suggest Removal)
Keep up the good work dad, we couldn't be more proud of you! You have always taught us to be respectful, truthful and to stand up for what we believe in. We believe in you and know you can deal with the best and WORST of them !! Don't give up And don't throw the towel in !

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Re: Chief Wentzell tells it like it is...

Post by Timeout on Mon Dec 22, 2008 12:03 pm

Web site steams town officials

By Terry Karkos , Staff Writer
Monday, December 22, 2008

LoadRelated();



RUMFORD - A seemingly innocuous Web site launched this month by firefighters union Local 1601 upset a few officials at Thursday night's selectmen meeting.

Selectmen Chairman J. Arthur Boivin railed against what he called the union's "takeover" of the Rumford Fire Department Web site.

Speaking loudly to Town Manager Len Greaney seated beside him, Boivin said he did an Internet search for Rumford, Maine, and up popped a listing for the Fire Department.

But, when he clicked the www.rumfordfire.org link, he said he was surprised and angered to see that Local 1601 had copyrighted its contents.

"They have a copyright on it? Give me a break! What is going on? Since when is local 1601 head of the Fire Department?" Boivin asked.

"I wish I knew," Greaney replied, saying that he, too, had checked the site. "I don't think it's proper. ... Nothing on that site dealt with what the call force is trying to build in Rumford. I'm very concerned. It shouldn't say 'Rumford Fire.' It should say, 'Union 1601.'"

The site identifies itself as "IAFF Local 1601 Rumford Professional Firefighters."

"It's almost as if we're separating out the union firefighters and they're not acknowledging the call force. Since we pay the salaries, we want it to be Rumford Fire. The union can have its own site, but the Rumford Fire Department needs its own site," Greaney said.

He said he would discuss the issue with fire Chief Gary Wentzell.

"And another thing," Boivin yelled, "they put my home address and telephone number and e-mail address up there. I do not do any town business on the Internet! I want that taken off that site while you're at it!"

Selectman Frank DiConzo, however, said that as public officials, selectmen should realize their telephone numbers and addresses may be published online.


"It gives taxpayers access to us and their concerns, but you can't put personal e-mail (addresses) on without our permission," he said. "There are a lot of things like this going on and I'm concerned. Issues are continually being created. We need to work with our fire chief. I hope we can get this resolved."

Neither Wentzell nor any firefighters at the meeting were asked to address the raised issues.

Contacted Friday afternoon, Local 1601 president Mark Tripp said "rumfordfire.org" is a union Web site and not the town's.

Tripp said the original Rumford Fire Department Web site went down about six to eight months ago when someone accidentally changed the passwords, preventing access to it for updates.

Because no one had the domain name (Internet address site) "rumfordfire.org," Tripp said the union bought it to prevent anyone else from buying it and using it for something else.

"The new site was paid for by the union, because Gary didn't have the time for it," Tripp said. "We took the domain name because we're not sure that (selectmen) realize that anyone can buy it. It does have a union section on it. I won't deny that. But that domain name was going out to the free world, so we bought it."

The union then decided to do its own Web site to correct misinformation on the inaccessible old department site.

"They're making a mountain out of a molehill, because it has a lot of Rumford Fire Department stuff on it and, I'm still working on putting up a history of the Rumford Fire Department," Tripp said.

Regarding use of Boivin's personal e-mail address, Tripp added, "I got his e-mail off something that was public record. It's public knowledge. We're only trying to encourage townspeople to contact their selectmen."

From today's Lewiston Sun Journal


Last edited by Timeout on Mon Dec 22, 2008 12:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Chief Wentzell tells it like it is...

Post by Timeout on Mon Dec 22, 2008 12:17 pm

"And another thing," Boivin yelled, "they put my home address and telephone number and e-mail address up there. I do not do any town business on the Internet!"

Big knowledge, awareness or maybe generation gap issue here, although I know plenty of older people who are pretty savvy internet users. Should we all hold off on internet use until Boivin catches up? Or, should we just replace him in June? Decisions, decisions.
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Re: Chief Wentzell tells it like it is...

Post by KevinNSaisi on Mon Dec 22, 2008 12:32 pm

It is my understanding that Mr. Boivin has decided to not discuss town business by email because any and all communication regarding town affairs is subject to the sunshine laws. This means that technically, he would have to maintain a copy of all emails for a certain period of time and make them available upon request. Phone calls are not subject to such rules. I think it is a wise move. Since the town does not provide selectmen with email addresses, and email archiving, it is reasonable to not use a personal email address for town purposes.
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Re: Chief Wentzell tells it like it is...

Post by Timeout on Mon Dec 22, 2008 12:43 pm

I can't see where you arrive at your understanding of Mr. Boivin's aversion to the internet. Last year at a meeting, he gave a completely different reason for not using internet. Oh well...did you have a personal conversation with him yourself?
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Re: Chief Wentzell tells it like it is...

Post by Z on Mon Dec 22, 2008 1:30 pm

Perhaps he should resign as selectman. If he wants the position, he should accept the responsibility. If he does not want to use his personal e-mail account, he should create another account specifically for town business.

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Re: Chief Wentzell tells it like it is...

Post by C on Mon Dec 22, 2008 3:54 pm

Mr. Boivin could certainly create a yahoo or gmail address at no cost to himself and use it for town purposes. I'll bet the name selectmanboivin is still available.
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Re: Chief Wentzell tells it like it is...

Post by Timeout on Mon Dec 22, 2008 3:58 pm

Maybe one of the other selectmen could help him set up an internet "filing system" under a new account. It's an easy thing to do. I'm pretty sure they could also add e-mail addresses for selectmen to the town account. Their webmaster that does the town website could set that up easily.
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Re: Chief Wentzell tells it like it is...

Post by Timeout on Mon Dec 22, 2008 4:02 pm

The only other problem I can see is if they are saying things they don't want repeated...if so, they can still use the phone for covert operations, or otherwise self-monitor.
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Re: Chief Wentzell tells it like it is...

Post by C on Mon Dec 22, 2008 4:08 pm

I think any elected official should make him/herself as accessible as possible to those people he/she is representing. Perhaps he has fallen into the digital divide and doesn't know how to use email easily. If he doesn't want his phone number or email address to be public how is one supposed to get in touch with him? It's hard telling what knocking on his door would promote...
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Re: Chief Wentzell tells it like it is...

Post by Timeout on Mon Dec 22, 2008 4:12 pm

Perhaps unlike some of the other selectmen, he doesn't realize he is representing the entire constituency and may not want to make himself available?
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Re: Chief Wentzell tells it like it is...

Post by KevinNSaisi on Mon Dec 22, 2008 5:47 pm

Timeout wrote:I can't see where you arrive at your understanding of Mr. Boivin's aversion to the internet. Last year at a meeting, he gave a completely different reason for not using internet. Oh well...did you have a personal conversation with him yourself?

Yes.
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Re: Chief Wentzell tells it like it is...

Post by Timeout on Mon Dec 22, 2008 5:49 pm

Okay, well maybe someone can deal him in to the available options.
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Re: Chief Wentzell tells it like it is...

Post by KevinNSaisi on Mon Dec 22, 2008 5:53 pm

Strange how everyone jumps to conclusions. If you call the town office and ask Terri for an email address, she will only provide the official RumfordMaine.Net addresses. There are privacy laws that prohibit the sharing of private emails without permission.
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Re: Chief Wentzell tells it like it is...

Post by KevinNSaisi on Mon Dec 22, 2008 5:55 pm

C wrote:I think any elected official should make him/herself as accessible as possible to those people he/she is representing. Perhaps he has fallen into the digital divide and doesn't know how to use email easily. If he doesn't want his phone number or email address to be public how is one supposed to get in touch with him? It's hard telling what knocking on his door would promote...

I don't recall him saying that he didn't want his phone number posted. It is in the phone book, so what would be the point?
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Re: Chief Wentzell tells it like it is...

Post by Timeout on Mon Dec 22, 2008 6:29 pm

How do you see people jumping to conclusions?

The only person I see jumping to conclusions here is Chairman Boivin. Hey, I wasn't the one yelling at the meeting...maybe if he spent a little time writing out his thoughts beforehand, he wouldn't have to yell.

Also, I can't see where it's his place to take it up with town employees and not allow them to respond...weird...and very controlling.

If people see something good about all this, vote for him if he decides to run in June. I'm sure he can deliver more of the same.

I'd like to know what he's doing that is so useful that he feels he has the right to act as he does...geez! I've yet to see much this year under his chairmanship...but, he's got a few more months to make good I guess.
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Re: Chief Wentzell tells it like it is...

Post by KevinNSaisi on Mon Dec 22, 2008 6:40 pm

Timeout wrote:How do you see people jumping to conclusions?

The only person I see jumping to conclusions here is Chairman Boivin. Hey, I wasn't the one yelling at the meeting...maybe if he spent a little time writing out his thoughts beforehand, he wouldn't have to yell.

Also, I can't see where it's his place to take it up with town employees and not allow them to respond...weird...and very controlling.

If people see something good about all this, vote for him if he decides to run in June. I'm sure he can deliver more of the same.

Timeout, My comment about jumping to conclusions is based upon comments regarding his not wanting to hear from people, having something to hide, or not wanting his words in writing. I was at the meeting and didn't hear any yelling. When Arthur wants to make a point, he often speaks up loud and clear. Yes, he has a hearing problem, but it is rude to make fun of it as some have here.

As many know, I have spent too much effort trying to get this and previous boards to follow the rules (with little success). I will not arm-chair-quatrerback this incident, but suffice to say it was out of order.

I am saddened that you used this incident to attack Arthur, and in doing so, build anti-social capital.
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Re: Chief Wentzell tells it like it is...

Post by Timeout on Mon Dec 22, 2008 6:43 pm

Give me a break Kevin, it's not about loud and clear. I've been on the receiving end of Mr. Boivin's yelling many times...and yet I don't yell. Sorry you have a sad feeling about it. Please stop reminding us all how to behave. You've mentioned quite a few times about Christmas...how about the rest of the year?
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Re: Chief Wentzell tells it like it is...

Post by C on Mon Dec 22, 2008 6:50 pm

KevinNSaisi wrote:There are privacy laws that prohibit the sharing of private emails without permission.

Someone forgot to inform Ms. Rumford Reporter of that law...
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Re: Chief Wentzell tells it like it is...

Post by C on Mon Dec 22, 2008 6:52 pm

KevinNSaisi wrote:I don't recall him saying that he didn't want his phone number posted. It is in the phone book, so what would be the point?


"And another thing," Boivin yelled, "they put my home address and
telephone number and e-mail address up there. I do not do any town
business on the Internet! I want that taken off that site while you're
at it!"
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Re: Chief Wentzell tells it like it is...

Post by KevinNSaisi on Mon Dec 22, 2008 6:58 pm

C wrote:
KevinNSaisi wrote:I don't recall him saying that he didn't want his phone number posted. It is in the phone book, so what would be the point?


"And another thing," Boivin yelled, "they put my home address and
telephone number and e-mail address up there. I do not do any town
business on the Internet! I want that taken off that site while you're
at it!"

He is identifying the information they posted. He then states he doesn't do town business on the Internet, adn states he wants "that" taken off. If you look at the attribution of the word "that" it links to the most recently referred to information, which is information used to communicate on the Internet (i.e. email address). If you force the attribution to include all of the data posted, you would be stating that he doesn't want his name posted either. It is unreasonable to believe that he would be a selectman and not want his name to be known. He may have misspoke, but my personal discussions with him indicate that it is his email address he does not want used for town business. I have expressed above the rationale for that decision.
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Re: Chief Wentzell tells it like it is...

Post by KevinNSaisi on Mon Dec 22, 2008 7:03 pm

Timeout wrote:Give me a break Kevin, it's not about loud and clear. I've been on the receiving end of Mr. Boivin's yelling many times...and yet I don't yell. Sorry you have a sad feeling about it. Please stop reminding us all how to behave. You've mentioned quite a few times about Christmas...how about the rest of the year?

If you look at the posts, you will see that things have become more negative in the past few months. There is no need for the negativity, we can address issues without attacking people. I agree that we should all work to remain positive throughout the year, but many consider Christmas as a special time of year when we should all look within ourselves to find compassion for our fellow man (and woman). I was hoping that this forum would be a venue for peace, but I see it is turning out to be just as bad as some claim TRR to be. It is nsad that we must remain divided when our community needs to work together.
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Re: Chief Wentzell tells it like it is...

Post by C on Mon Dec 22, 2008 7:13 pm

"It is unreasonable to believe that he would be a selectman and not want his name to be known."

If I were in his shoes.... maybe I wouldn't.
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