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Chiefs Retiring But Not Quitting

It turns out that while Westport's police chief and top two fire officials are seeking retirement retroactive to June 1, they aren't necessarily going anywhere. The plan, according to First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, is for all three retirees to continue under new contracts.

"We haven't concluded a contract yet," said Joseloff. The vision would have Police Chief Al Fiore, Fire Chief Christopher Ackley and Deputy Fire Chief Jon Gottfried continue under the same general terms as their previous contracts. However, by retiring under the old terms they will begin collecting earned benefits, namely health care. The new deals will not carry health care and will save both the chiefs and the town on that cost.

Jon Gottfried said insurance was the driving factor in the chiefs' decisions. He cited a more than 22 percent increase in cost.

While a critic of the plan questioned if the proposal was double dipping, Joseloff called it a win/win situation. He said the town wouldn't consider doing this if it wasn't in Westport's best interest. He noted an incident in the previous year where several officers left at once due to a jump in health care costs. This time he hopes to save the town some money while maintaining continuity in the departments

The police and fire pension boards will meet back to back in Room 309 at Town Hall on June 28, starting at 8:30 a.m.

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