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Insurance Forcing Chiefs to Retire

Three of Westport’s top emergency responders want out. Deputy Fire Chief Jon Gottfried, Fire Chief Christopher Ackley and Police Chief Al Fiore are all petitioning the fire and police pension boards to accept the terms of their retirements, effective June 1.

According to Gottfried, a driving factor is a steep rise in medical insurance, coupled with a lack of raises. “We’re in a position where our medical insurance is going up significantly. It’s somewhere north of 22 percent.”

He said the decision was not influenced by or dependent on the Representative Town Meeting’s failure to restore funds to the department budgets. The three officials have to look out for themselves as much as they do for the community. Without knowing what the future holds, each has to weigh the options that make the most sense, said Gottfried.

Gottfried couldn’t say if he was investigating opportunities with other departments. Nor could he comment on any plans Ackley or Fiore might have. “All three of us are deciding what we are going to do,” said Gottfried.

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