Wareham Fire District election Saturday
Three candidates are running for two open seats on the Wareham Fire District’s Prudential Committee. Incumbent George Barrett is running for re-election alongside two newcomers: assessor Steven Curry and Wareham Police Department Detective Dean Decas. Each seat has a three year term. The top two vote-getters will be elected.
Edward J. Tamagini, III, is running unopposed for re-election to the Water Commission.
Incumbents Barrett and Tamagini were both first elected in 1998.
The Wareham Fire District Election will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, at the Fire District’s 2550 Cranberry Highway Headquarters.
Steven Curry, who has lived in Wareham for 34 years and been a member of the Board of Assessors for 22 years, said his priorities are fiscal responsibility and maintaining safety for firefighters and residents.
Curry, who has been the town’s assistant assessor for four years while running a small appraisal business for 33 years, said he was asked by friends to run for the seat. He thinks his independence, common sense, and skill with numbers will be an asset if he is elected.
Curry said that although people complain about their tax bill, everyone wants to know that if they call 911, the fire department will show up, be prepared with the necessary equipment and training, and be able to go home safely at the end of a shift. Curry wants to explore ways that the district could save money without cutting corners, like applying for grants or installing solar panels to defray energy costs.
“I’m in favor of the firemen and all public safety personnel,” Curry said. “Those guys want to go home safe. They want to know if they show up they’ve got the gear and the equipment.”
Curry said his family has a long history in public safety, and noted that one relative who had a 30 year career as a firefighter in another town recently retired after an injury caused by faulty truck maintenance-- something he doesn’t want to see happen in Wareham.
The other first time candidate for a position on the Prudential Committee is Detective Dean Decas, who has been a police officer at the Wareham Police Department for 17 years. He has lived in Wareham for his whole life.
“My interest in the Prudential Committee is to help in the growth and advancement of the fire department,” Decas said.
Decas, who has attended district and Prudential Committee meetings over the past several years, believes he can be an asset to the committee.
“Having been in public safety and having worked closely with the fire department throughout my career, I believe I can help in the advancement and safety of the fire department,” Decas said.
If elected, Decas said that he would focus on safety for the firefighters.
“I believe giving firefighters, in a fiscally responsible manner, the equipment to safely accomplish their jobs is a priority,” Decas said, adding that he would work closely with the fire department to accomplish such goals.
Incumbent George Barrett has served on the Committee for 21 years. A lifelong Wareham resident, Barrett works in heating and cooling and said that the his involvement with the district has become a part of his life.
“Overall, I think we’ve got a fire and water department we can be proud of,” said Barrett. “I’m glad to be a part of it.”
If he is reelected, Barrett said that he would like to look at the organization of the fire department — an issue which was brought up by a voter at the district meeting. The voter questioned the amount of authority the Fire Chief has gained over the decades. Initially, the department was run by a “Board of Engineers.”
“We may be alright the way we’re going, but there may be a better way,” Barrett said. “We need to look at that and come to a decision on that.”
Barrett also expects to deal with a variety of capital projects over the next few years.
“We also have a lot of capital items we have to deal with, and I’d like to do that with the least impact on the taxpayer,” Barrett said. “Everybody wants a good fire department but it hurts to have to pay for it.”
Overall, Barrett hopes to maintain the quality of the department.
“I think we’re doing a good job,” Barrett said. “We have a top notch department and good people. I think they expect us to maintain that.”