The City of Stamford has filed suit against the Long Ridge, Turn of River and Springdale volunteer fire departments over issues voted on in November regarding department unification.
Filed by the City of Stamford, newly-appointed unified Chief Antonio Conte, Public Safety Director Ted Jankowski and Chief Fire Marshal Barry Callahan, the suit lists the three departments and their respective chiefs as defendants in the case.
In November, residents of Stamford voted to pass the Chart Revision Commission's recommendation to unify all departments, paid and volunteer alike, under a single chief and two assistant chiefs, one for paid and one for volunteer departments. Many volunteers strongly contested the decision to unify the departments.
Since the vote, the three departments have been been dragging their feet on complying with wishes from the city on various aspects of the unification process. The departments state they're attempting to negotiate minor details with the city. The city appears to feel they need to comply or lose funding.
The move for the city to file suit seems to be a preemptive strike following Mayor Michael Pavia's decision to only fund the three volunteer companies through the first six months of fiscal year 2013-14. Following the decision, announced Thursday, March 7, 2013, Turn of River Chief Frank Jacobellis stated the volunteer departments would likey pursue legal action themselves.
The complete lawsuit has been included above.