Brewer says goodbye to retiring fire chief, appoints public safety director

Fire Chief Gary Parent (left) turns red and holds onto the lectern while reading a fake City Council resolve on Sept. 11, 2012 that jokes about his 27 years with the Brewer Fire Department. Parent is retiring at the end of the month.
Andrew Varisco
Fire Chief Gary Parent (left) turns red and holds onto the lectern while reading a fake City Council resolve on Sept. 11, 2012 that jokes about his 27 years with the Brewer Fire Department. Parent is retiring at the end of the month.
Posted Sept. 11, 2012, at 10:23 p.m.
New Brewer police Officer Tom Tardiff holds his daughter while he is sworn in during the Brewer City Council meeting held Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012 by City Clerk Howard Kroll.
Andrew Varisco
New Brewer police Officer Tom Tardiff holds his daughter while he is sworn in during the Brewer City Council meeting held Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012 by City Clerk Howard Kroll.

BREWER, Maine — When it came time Tuesday night to say goodbye to Fire Chief Gary Parent, who joined the department in 1984 and retires later this month, City Manager Steve Bost and others had a little fun.

“He was my first promotion back in 1999 — I’ve regretted it ever since,” Bost said, drawing a round of laughter from those at the Brewer City Council meeting.

City Councilor Larry Doughty said he and others planned to take a bus to Florida to enjoy Parent’s new pool and the retiring fire chief countered by saying everyone was invited, “If you leave him off at Fort Lauderdale,” referring to Doughty.

Parent, who was made captain in 1999 and fire chief in 2010, was called to the lectern by Bost to read a fake resolve that was placed in his meeting paperwork that made him laugh out loud and turn a bright red while reading.

It states that Parent faked being a Yankees fan, had purchased several country music collections and is responsible for the name of the public safety department being changed to “Guns and Hoses.” The joke resolve goes on to pick on his stature, the height of his chair and even his new pool in Florida.

“It has been recommended that the pool be posted and you must be over 5 feet, 3 inches to swim in the deep end,” Parent read, barely able to get the words out. “Sorry Chief Parent — maybe some water wings?”

After Parent left the lectern, clutching the fake resolve firmly in his raised hand, councilors and Bost gave him the accolades for his decades of service to the community. His last day is Sept. 28.

Later in the meeting, councilors appointed Police Chief Perry Antone to fill a newly created public safety director position, which will have all the duties of the fire chief and police chief.

Capt. Jason Moffitt was named deputy police chief, and 24-year veteran firefighter Ralph Cammack, brother of Bangor’s former Fire Chief Jeff Cammack, was promoted to the rank of deputy fire chief.

The idea of creating the public safety director’s position is something that has been kicked around for a while by city leaders, who decided to proceed with the idea when learning that Parent was going to retire, Bost has said.

“Congratulations,” Mayor Jerry Goss said after councilors made the new appointments.

During the meeting, the board also:

• Endorsed in a 3-2 split vote to ask residents in November by referendum whether they want to restrict the use of fireworks within the more populated areas of the city.

• Swore in new police officer Tom Tardiff, who took the oath while holding his young daughter. “Tom comes from the area but he’s been working in Bar Harbor,” Antone said. Tardiff has been on the job for about a week, the police chief said.

• Recognized State Rep. Michael Celli, who is a former mayor, as the city’s Citizen of the Year, and Tim Horton’s as the Business of the Year.

• Recognized St. Joseph Hospital’s recent honor as one of the top hospitals in the country.

• Honored Brewer’s Water Pollution Control Facility for completing two decades of work to separate stormwater and sewer lines, and for not having any reportable issues for more than 18 years.

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