Gambrell wants to bring dispatcher view to selectmen

  • GAMBRELL

Recorder Staff
Published: 3/29/2017 10:31:49 PM

ATHOL — Sarah Gambrell says there are many issues facing Athol, but one in particular sparked her interest in running for the Board of Selectmen.

A former Athol Police dispatcher, she opposed the proposed 911 dispatch regionalization from the get-go, viewing it as a poor fit for the town.

The proposal was to consolidate Athol police and fire dispatch with Gardner’s and operate in a regional emergency communication center in the new Gardner police station. Following public uproar and a special town meeting vote, the selectmen voted last month to withdraw from the intermunicipal agreement (signed in March 2015) and give the required 18 months’ notice to terminate the plan. Gambrell was a vocal opponent at various public hearings on the topic.

“Many local citizens, myself included, spent countless hours working to educate the taxpayers about what the regionalization would really mean for Athol. This process was deeply flawed and made me realize that changes in our local government are desperately needed,” Gambrell said in a statement. “Government, at the local, state and federal level needs to be transparent and accountable.”

Gambrell now works at the Rutland Regional Emergency Communication Center, which provides police, fire and 911 dispatching for Rutland, Barre, Hubbardston and Oakham.

Gambrell said she is a military veteran and former journalist. She said she is originally from Maryland and met her husband in Japan while serving in the U.S. Army. They eventually moved to Athol, her husband’s hometown.

Gambrell faces challenges from Holly Young and Rebecca Bialecki to unseat incumbents Anthony Brighenti and Alan Dodge in Monday’s election.


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