THORNDIKE – It was standing room only at Thorndike’s annual town meeting.
“Town meetings are a great place to work these sort of things out.” State Senator Erin Herbig said. “The more people that are at the table, the more at this town meeting, the better outcome we’ll get.”
On Saturday, residents voted in favor of creating a municipal fire department.
“I think going municipal is a good idea and I think good things are gonna happen now to come out of it.” said Reginald Cunningham, who says he’s been acting as assistant fire chief.
In late February, all but two members of Thorndike’s volunteer fire department resigned, leaving them to rely heavily on mutual aid.
Their resignations came after selectmen released a letter written by four Waldo County Agencies that mentioned a lack of training and working equipment.
“If they have an issue with the fire department they can come to a selectmen’s meeting and talk to us directly.” said Joshua Ard, a new selectman for Thorndike. “Before we were essentially hiring the fire department to work itself.”
The ordinance creating a municipal fire department to replace the volunteer fire company passed 73-11.
It also clarifies the role of leadership and department structure.
A resident at the meeting says he believes it is a step in the right direction, but may not solve all the problems the department is facing.
“I believe whether we have a municipal or private organization, you’re still going to have to follow the rules.” said Doug Nye, a Thorndike resident. “It’s still dependent on the selectmen and the fire chief working together.
3 new selectmen were also appointed at the meeting.
One we spoke with said things will be different.
“It’s going to be good.” said Ard. “It’s Thorndike’s 200th anniversary, so I guess it’s a good time for change”