Debby Mayer in The Columbia Paper reports
that in December Germantown Hose Company No. 1 elected Michael Lawson to another term as chief, by only one vote, 17 to 16, against Richard Jennings, Sr., the highway superintendent for Germantown. But the district’s five commissioners refused to approve the election of Lawson, first assistant chief Douglas Pearson, and second assistant chief James Maruniak. “There’s always been a personal rub, hard feelings between Mike and certain commissioners,” Michael Mortenson, a fire company member and Germantown councilman, told The Columbia Paper. “There have been problems with approving Mike in the past, and this year the commissioners decided to take it all the way.” Two of the fire commissioners, Patrick Ebling and Denis Crawford, work for Jennings in the Germantown Highway Department, and Mortenson considers that a conflict of interest. The other commissioners are Christopher Mullins, a corrections officer, Hugh McLean, who works for the Postal Service, and former town Supervisor Roy Brown, who chairs the commissioners’ board. Others in the story complain the board went into executive session before making the decision. Crawford and Brown were at the company's regular meeting Dec. 7, and Brown said that the vote was not unanimous -— one commissioner abstained —- and that documentation exists to explain the board's decision but could not share it at this time. Read the full story in The Columbia Paper.