Fire District 2 sets date for special election following recall petition

Jun 12, 2023

The effort to recall Prudential Committee member Bob Bouley will come to a close on July 31, when he faces off against another candidate in a special election. 

The date for the election was set at the district's June 12 meeting. 

The special election will see voters decide between Bouley or another candidate.

It is expected that Paul Abrantes, a resident of Fire District 2 and father of a firefighter, will run against Bouley in the special election. He has been a part of the effort to recall Bouley.

Other residents may also join the ballot as the deadline approaches. 

The election is the result of district voters efforts over six months to recall Bouley. He had the option to resign from the committee but chose to see it through in an election. 

The recall started with a petition that received 236 signatures, and was presented on May 22. It faults Bouley for removing Greg Edgcomb from his position as acting fire chief “without any process, and in violation of the Open Meeting Law and the District By-Laws” and for refusing to interview Edgcomb for the role of permanent fire chief.

Edgcomb, a Dartmouth native, career firefighter and EMT, served as the acting chief for nearly a year after the resignation of former-chief Tim Andre in November 2021.

The petition claims that Bouley “has acted to the detriment of the district and [endangered] the safety of the residents and buildings of the District.” 

The petition is a reflection of some district residents disagreeing with Bouley and previous Prudential Committee member William Coutu over their refusal to offer Edgcomb a permanent contract.

The two committee members had stood firm, stating that Edgcomb’s salary request of $115,000 per year was too much for the district to afford.

Ultimately, the committee decided to hire former District 1 lieutenant Erick Turcotte for the job at a salary of $92,500 per year. 

The reluctance to increase salaries was seen again at the June 12 meeting when Committee Chair John Sousa made a motion to reinstate stipends to the deputy chief and inspector which had previously been reduced for the fiscal year and increased again at the district’s Annual Meeting. 

“[Regarding] last year’s vote [to reduce] the stipends for the last two months of the year, in light of the Annual Meeting and the opinion of the voters, I would like to reinstate the stipend for those [months],” Sousa said. 

Meeting attendees clapped in response to the proposal. Despite their enthusiasm, Bouley voted against the reinstatement. It passed 2-1.