One of the more interesting items on the ballot this coming week is a proposal by the Town of Wiscasset, Maine, to permit volunteer firefighters to wash their personal vehicles at the fire house.  This issue has apparently divided the town, the firefighters and the town’s board of selectmen.

The question on the ballot: shall the town continue to allow the members of the Wiscasset Fire Department the use of the Wiscasset Fire Station to clean their personal vehicles?”

The practice of firefighters washing their own cars violates a town policy regarding the personal use of town equipment.

According to a news report I read in FireRescue1.com, “the chief concern expressed by the town manager, town lawyer and the officials who voted to end the car-washing perk is liability. They are worried that the town will be on the hook if a firefighter is injured washing their vehicle.”

The Wiscasset Fire Department has 25 members and in 2015 went on 138 calls, so it’s not so big.  The fire station is located at the Town’s municipal building, so perhaps the other town employees, who couldn’t wash their own vehicles, felt that the firefighters were given a preference.

It’s a shame the Town and the Department couldn’t work this out without the matter being put on the same ballot as the Presidential elections.