In hiring and supervising members of his family, Oak Bluffs ambulance and fire chief John Rose broke conflict of interest rules, the state ethics commission said Monday. But the commission declined to fine Mr. Rose or call for a hearing, instead sending a letter explaining requirements of the law.
Oak Bluffs officials stood in a semi-circle on Monday, shovels ready, to mark the beginning of a major construction project. They faced a gray structure that’s been home to the fire department since 1973, but will soon be razed to make way for a new station.
Appointed acting chief 10 months ago, John Rose now has a permanent place as head of the town fire department. The vote by the five town selectmen was unanimous on Tuesday night, amid praise for Mr. Rose.
The Oak Bluffs selectmen Tuesday unanimously approved increased annual stipends for the fire department.
When requesting the increase, acting fire chief John Rose said the new stipends are more comparable to the pay scale in other towns.
Traci Monteith is afraid of heights but she loves depths. She’s been diving in Vineyard waters for more than 10 years, but only recently has she been working toward certification as an advanced diver on the Oak Bluffs fire department dive team. On a recent Thursday evening, she wet-suited up alongside two other members of the team for their first night dive.
An independent review of the Oak Bluffs fire department turned up a series of needed improvements, including better record keeping, clearer policies and procedures and improved communication between town and fire authorities.