Mike Vasey will fill the council seat in left vacant by the death of long-time Plympton-Wyoming Councillor Ron Schenk.
Schenk died in mid-May after a long battle with cancer.
Wednesday night, during an in camera meeting of council, Vasey was chosen as his replacement. The former fire chief in Wyoming ran for a councillor’s position in 2018 and had the highest number of votes among those who did not win a seat.
Vasey says he was very surprised to receive the call and says he’s humbled to get a chance to serve. But it will be tough to live up to Schenk’s legacy.
“To follow in the shoes of Mr. Schenk – they’re big shoes to fill, so yeah, I’m a little nervous, excited, scared, the whole thing and I’m starting from behind so there will be a lot of catch up to do, for sure.”
Vasey is appointed as town council deals with some thorny issues at the department he used to lead in Wyoming.
Three senior firefighters were fired in February sparking a run of resignations and retirements in the department. Recently, lawyers for the three say a wrongful dismissal suit is pending. They allege concerns about physical and verbal abuse of a lieutenant against the departments sole female lieutenant, led to the complainant, and two others who voiced concerns about the operation of the department, being fired.
Vasey admits that is going to be a difficult issue for him, however he believes he may be able to provide insight into the situation for council.
“I’ll go in with an open mind and do the best I can. Hopefully, the knowledge I have got working at the fire hall will benefit both sides, because I know the struggles that go on with the firemen and I also see the side of the council and the almighty dollar. There are issues on both sides and hopefully, I can be the one to help bridge that.”
Vasey adds he hopes he can live up to the expectations of the people who voted for him in 2018.