Bennington Rural elects new fire chief



BENNINGTON -- Bennington Rural Fire District voters overwhelmingly chose Wayne Davis to be the new chief of the Bennington Rural Fire Department at the annual meeting Monday.

A department member for 22 years, Davis won with 72 votes. Also nominated were Ken Goings and John Scutt, who received 17 and 11 votes respectively.

Davis said in an interview Tuesday he feels good about being chosen as chief and hopes to lead the department’s firefighters in a good direction. He said he has previously served the department as a captain, lieutenant, treasurer, and president.

Kevin Mattison was elected first assistant chief with 82 votes. Also nominated was Scutt, who received 20 votes. Roger Hughes was elected second assistant chief. No one else was nominated.

Sharon Sausville was elected treasurer. There were no other nominations.

Steven Waters was elected clerk with 51 votes, defeating Robert Speanburgh who received 36 votes.

Carl Sherman was reelected to his three-year Prudential Board seat, defeating challenger Amanda Mattison with 59 votes to 28.

Voters approved an article that added two, one-year seats to the Prudential Board, bringing it up to five seats. Henry Cross was elected to one of those seats with 38 votes, beating out Mattison who got 26, and Tim Burgess who received 21.

Tim Canavan was elected to the other one-year seat with 36 votes, defeating Mattison, who got 27, and Burgess who received 20.

The budget of $394,300 was approved by voice vote. It is level funded from last year.

Voters also approved creating a $25,000 line item for specialty vehicles, such as a brush truck, and approved buying five new sets of gear for a total of $11,000.

All other articles passed.

Former chief Shawn Gardner said there were 257 calls in 2013. False alarms accounted for 70. There were 63 motor vehicle crashes, 16 stand-bys for other departments, and six structure fires. There were also 25 "good intents" which are calls where there turns out to be no fire, or firefighters are not needed.

The next annual meeting will be held Jan. 26, 2015. The Prudential Board meets on the third Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. at the Willow Road Fire House, located on Orchard Road. They are open to the public.

Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.


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