West Stockbridge’s Fire Chief fields accusations of dept. mismanagement

(Emily Thurlow)
Bernie Fallon, left, and West Stockbridge Fire Chief Peter Skorput.

WEST STOCKBRIDGE —What was scheduled to be an executive session item between the town’s select board and fire chief as well as town counsel was aired to the general public in a packed open meeting.
And that discussion is one that board member Eric Shimelonis has become the beginning to a regularly scheduled agenda item.
The agenda described the executive session as such that would “discuss the discipline or dismissal of, or complaints or charges against, a public officer …” West Stockbridge Fire Chief Peter Skorput, however, requested that the meeting take place in an open session.
Anticipating that the conversation could easily escalate down a more divisive path, the board’s chairman, Bernie Fallon, took a few moments to set a goal of a more positive outcome.
“As a town, as a group, as neighbors, we need to come out of tonight’s meeting stronger than we came in,” said Fallon, taking time to applaud Skorput and his 36-year-long tenure with the fire department. “We celebrate and thank Peter for his service. We are a small town and all should get along and support one another. I am requesting that we set a goal to get along after this meeting is over and come out of this meeting stronger.”

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