Watson, Lussier aim to bring transparency, sound management to Pascoag Fire board

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BURRILLVILLE – Saying they hope to bring ethics, sound management and transparency to the Pascoag Fire Commission, residents Cindy Lussier and Chris Watson have announced their intention to seek a seat on the board.

The pair will be among six candidates seeking one of three open spots on the commission during the district’s annual meeting on Sept. 9.

Watson and Lussier released similar information on their platforms last week, pointing to ongoing issues over the past year and a half that have made many residents critical of district leadership.

Lussier, a registered nurse and president of United Nurses and Allied Professionals Local 5019, notes that she has attended almost every meeting of the commission over the last 20 months. She points to the need to get overtime under control, establish sound purchasing practices, and strengthen and enforce personnel policies, among other priorities.

She has been active in numerous community organizations including serving on the board of directors for the Tri-State Horsemen’s Association and For Pete’s Sake and Rosies Two. She was a member of the No New Power Plant citizen’s group, and was a founding member of the New Horizon Center for Equine Assisted Therapy.

She points out that no one in her family is affiliated with or does business with the P.F.D.

“It’s time to stop the violation of public trust within the Pascoag Fire District Board of Commissioners,” Lussier stated.

She cites the ongoing concerns with the district including pending lawsuits, failure to address overtime costs, questionable use of district vehicles, and last minute cancelazation of meetings among her reasons for running.

Watson has lived in town for 40 years, and is employed as a registered nurse. He is married with three children, and is a former member of the U.S. Coast Guard, serving for 15 years. His volunteer work includes membership in Rhode Island 4-H, including a stint as president; time as a Cub Scout, Boy Scout and Weabelo leader; and membership in the No New Power Plant citizen group.

Watson cites use of taxpayer money to pay ethics legal fees, shredding of boxes of district records, mismanagement and pension problems among issues that need to be addressed.

“I am asking for your vote because I think we ratepayers deserve better,” wrote Watson. “We deserve ethical and honest actions from our board and department members.”

Watson notes that he also has attended commission meetings for the past 18 months.

Other individuals who have declared their intent to run for the board include Chris Toti, Carmela White, Vincent Micucci and Kathleen Polacek.

The election will be held at the district’s annual meeting on Sept. 9 starting at 7 p.m. at the station at 141 Howard Ave. All residents of the district, or those taxed by the PFD, are eligible to vote.

NRI NOW is offering all candidates for the commission the opportunity to discuss their background and platform. Interested parties should email sandy@nrinow.news.

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