With Contract In Dispute, Shutesbury Faces Loss Of Fire Chief and Firefighters

Jun 26, 2018

Town officials in Shutesbury, Massachusetts, are meeting Tuesday to discuss the contract for the fire chief after he said he'd quit, and the volunteer firefighters who work with him said they'd do the same.

Fire Chief Walter Tibbetts said he told the town he wanted to be paid $65,000 a year, which is $10,000 more than he makes now. When the town offered only $60,000, Tibbetts said he'd rather retire.

Lee Elder is a volunteeer firefighter in Shutesbury and said the Select Board could be making a mistake.

"They would be letting go somebody who has 40 years of firefighting knowledge, who has been a wonderful chief for the last 24 years," he said. "It would only be fair for him to at least make a fair wage for what he does."

Elder and other firefighters have begun circulating a petition to convene a special town meeting to consider the higher salary.