Police and fire chiefs to retire, then enter new contract
Published 10:58 am, Wednesday, June 23, 2010
In an effort to reduce spending, Westport's chief of police and the two top fire officials will be retiring, and they will then be rehired back under new contracts that are expected to be more fiscally-friendly to the town's budget.
The retirements, effective retroactively on June 1, of Police Chief Alfred Fiore, Fire Chief Christopher Ackley and Deputy Fire Chief Jonathan Gottfried will likely be approved on Monday by the police and fire pension boards. The new contracts will have to be approved by the Board of Selectmen.
Fiore said the reasons for the retirement are strictly financial.
"I have no desire to leave. I still enjoy what I'm doing. I still like coming to work every day," said Fiore, who began his career with the Westport Police Department 32 years ago. He started the same day as Ackley.
By retiring early, he said, his pension won't be reduced by $3,200 annually due to rising health care costs that kick in at the start of the fiscal year on July 1. Also, he said, the new contract, with less pay and fewer benefits, will save the town money.
"[The contracts] have to be economically advantageous to the town," said First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, who expects the new contracts to be finished in July.
The terms for the contacts are unknown, but Joseloff said the pay and other perks will likely be less than what the soon-to-be retirees currently receive. By retiring, they will be able to collect their pensions while still receiving pay. The exact pay will be determined when the contracts are finalized.