Mass. city voters approve hiring of 8 firefighters

The measure will provide two additional firefighters for every shift, and will help ensure that at least two firefighters man every engine or apparatus deployed for service


Jessica Hill
Cape Cod Times, Hyannis, Mass.

FALMOUTH — Voters authorized a Proposition 2½ override to pay for the hiring of eight new firefighters while approving all 12 ballot questions in Tuesday's annual town election.

The town clerk's office received a total of 5,942 ballots, with the majority sent early.

Voters passed the override by a count of 3,592 to 2,172, although it still needs approval at this year's annual town meeting, the date for which has not yet been set. An article will ask town meeting voters to authorize using funds from the override to cover the wages and benefits of the new firefighters.

The budget override will assess an additional $971,507 in real estate and personal property taxes to fund salaries and benefits for the firefighters for fiscal 2021, which begins July 1.

The tax impact will be 8 cents per thousand, according to Assistant Town Manager Peter Johnson Staub. For a home with a median assessed value of $378,000, the increase would equal $30.24 per year.

The override will provide two additional firefighters for every shift, and will help ensure that at least two firefighters man every engine or apparatus deployed for service.

In addition to the override, 11 other ballot questions passed in the election.

Residents voted to authorize the board of selectmen to communicate with Gov. Baker that the town favors using all means available to ensure that the spent fuel at Plymouth Nuclear Power Station be secured in better quality dry casks and receive heightened security.

Other ballot questions approved Tuesday concerned amendments to the town charter, which were approved at November 2019 town meeting. Those questions "enhance the clarity and consistency of Charter language," remove contradictions between the town charter and evolving state laws and change some definitions.

One of the most notable charter changes approved Tuesday is one renaming the Falmouth Board of Selectmen the Falmouth Select Board. The change is effective immediately, according to Assistant Town Manager Peter Johnson-Staub.

Falmouth residents also voted to encourage the board to meet more often with other town governmental bodies and to ensure periodic review of the town's bylaws.

Follow Jessica Hill on Twitter: @jess_hillyeah.

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©2020 Cape Cod Times, Hyannis, Mass.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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