Posted by Kelseyy Sewell on Tuesday, July 10, 2018
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The video (above) was posted to Facebook by Kelseyy Sewell. She is the daughter of Lt. Mark Miller of the Laconia (NH) Fire Department. Lt. Miller died in the line-of-duty in a dive training accident at The Weirs in 2004.
According to Rick Green at The Laconia Daily Sun, City Council member Bob Hamel and firefighter’s union president Jason Griffin were having a rather tense exchange at a public meeting Monday. It was an outgrowth of Hamel’s recent public comments that firefighters “don’t have skin in the game” because the large majority do not live in Laconia. The conversation devolved further when Hamel, a former police officer, said the following:
I know you guys think you can walk on water, but there was a man in this town a long time ago who said he could walk on water and he tried it up on Weirs dock and he didn’t.
There were shouts from the audience of “Are you kidding me?” and “That’s out of line.” The man seen trying to pull Griffin away from the podium is Fire Chief Ken Erickson. The person saying, “Let’s control ourselves” is Mayor Ed Engler.
“You want to have an open conversation and work together,” Griffin said. “That’s out of line. That needs to stop. A dead fireman, that’s how you’re going to talk to me?”
Hamel later walked up to the firefighters and said he knew and liked Miller. He said he was referring to a self-proclaimed minister named Red Dunn, who once said he could walk on water and tried to do so without success at The Weirs.
On Tuesday, Hamel said he mentioned the anecdote only because it points up the danger of having an overly inflated sense of self, but that, in retrospect that he could see how the comment could be open to misinterpretation.