CLAREMONT — Lifelong Claremont resident Dale Girard is the newest member of the Claremont City Council after being selected by the council on Wednesday to fill the seat recently vacated by Abigail Kier.
Girard, a seasoned emergency medical services (EMS) professional and owner of Golden Cross Ambulance in Claremont, was sworn in during a Zoom meeting.
The council chose Girard by a majority vote of 5-3 from a pool of four candidates. The candidates included Girard, Matt Mooshian, Michael Sanorn and Heather Whitney.
Girard received votes from five council members: Mayor Charlene Lovett and councilors Andrew O’Hearne, James Contois, Jonathan Stone and Nicholas Koloski.
Assistant Mayor Allen Damren and Councilors Erica Sweetser and Deborah Matteau cast their votes for Mooshian.
Girard, a Stevens High School graduate, joined his family’s business, Golden Cross Ambulance, in 1988 and took ownership of the company in 1999. Girard has served to present on the Claremont Planning Board and Airport Advisory Committee and is a member of the Claremont-Sugar River Rotary Club.
Girard said he sees the city “moving in an upswing” and would like to help the city continue in a positive direction.
“I feel that right now I have the time to invest and help out people,” Girard said, “and would like the opportunity to assist in moving the city forward.”
The biggest challenges and priorities for Claremont in Girard’s perspective include addressing the needs for housing, maintaining the roads and city infrastructure and attracting more high-paying jobs.
Maintaining infrastructure in particular can be “a delicate balance” due to limited financial resources, Girard noted.
“Everybody keeps complaining about roads but there is only so much money to go around,” Girard said.
Later in the meeting the council named Girard to serve on the finance committee, after Matteau stepped down to offer her seat to Girard.
Each candidate gave a short opening and closing statement and responded to four questions selected by the council.
The council initially intended to interview each candidate individually but instead interviewed the applicants as a group due to challenges to sequester the candidates using Zoom.