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Joyce Endee

Selectmen accept police chief's resignation

September 21, 2011
The end of September will mark the resignations now of both public safety department chiefs, as selectmen accepted the resignation of Police Chief John Markland during their meeting Wednesday, Sept. 14.

Throughout the past 23 years, Markland served the Gilford community as a patrol officer, youth services officer and DARE officer. He held ranks of Corporal, Sergeant, and Lieutenant, and eventually became Chief of Police.

Markland was not present at the meeting, and there was no official comment from the department. Candidates for the position will be named at the next selectman's meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 28. The board made no mention of any possible candidates.

Selectman J. Kevin Hayes suggested the resignation of the two chiefs of the public safety departments, Markland and Fire Chief John Beland, may be attributable to changes in Gilford's retirement policies. He also associated this with the number of teacher retirements in the SAU at the end of the school-year.

The selectmen also announced during last week's meeting that they were not going to eliminate the technical assistant's position, and will keep Stephanie Philibotte on board through the budget discussions.

"Selectmen decided not to change their previous decision that rescinded the layoff. In other words, the person is not going to have her position eliminated at this time," stated Town Administrator Scott Dunn in an e-mail following the meeting.

Philibotte, present at the meeting, thanked the selectmen during the public input portion for keeping her position, and thanked members of the Zoning Board of Adjustments and Gilford Conservation Commission who spoke and wrote letters on her behalf at the previous Board of Selectmen's meeting, protesting her pending layoff.

Philibotte works in the planning and land-use department, and assists multiple boards and committees.

Lee Duncan of the GCC also thanked selectmen for keeping Philibotte.

"I hope this proves to be the right decision," added Duncan.

After the meeting, Philibotte approached the selectmen, shaking their hands and again thanking them for their decision. Selectman Hayes reminded Philibotte that the decision was still only temporary.

During the meeting, Dunn said he was still looking to cut an additional $300,000 in the town budget per a request by the selectmen. There was no mention of where or how these cuts would happen.

Selectmen nominated Department of Public Works Director Sheldon Morgan as the new Health Officer, and David R. Andrade, building inspector and code enforcement officer, as Deputy Health officer.

Selectman gave permission to John Ayers, department of planning and land-use director (DPLU), to purchase a refurbished photocopier for the DPLU office at about $5,000 on a three-year payment plan; about half the price of a new machine.

Chairman John O'Brien voiced concern with purchasing a used machine, but Ayers assured him it only had about 60,000 copies printed — one year's use, by the DPLU's average.

Plus, according to Ayers, the refurbished machine had a 90-day warranty, and was estimated to be about half the price to maintain, compared to their current 10-year-old copier. He said their current machine went into use in 2001, and parts are becoming harder and more expensive to find. The machine, he added, frequently requires service calls. On average, he said, the DPLU pays about $1,400 per year to maintain the current photocopier.

Martin Lord & Osman
Salmon Press
Varney Smith
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