TILTON — Tilton-Northfield Fire Chief Brad Ober ended the controversy over his residency last week by accepting an offer from Gilford to become that town's deputy fire chief.
Ober, who has been fire chief since 2010, was at the center of a controversy with the district fire commission last year because he hadn't moved to town, though Ober explained that he had been unable to sell his New Hampton home because of the poor housing market.
In January, Ober, 44, who has been a firefighter since 1988 and had been chief of the Ashland Fire Department before coming to Tilton in 2005, rented an apartment in Tilton to satisfy the residency requirement of his job.
But the experience left an impression, he said, and when Gilford's deputy position opened in the summer, he decided to put his time in Tilton and Northfield — both good and bad — behind him.
"I just felt it was time to move on from all of that," he said.
Town officials had no comment on Ober's departure Monday. Fire Commissioner Pat Clark said the commission will meet Tuesday and Thursday night this week and discuss moving forward with the hiring of a new chief.
The Gilford position, which will pay Ober $67,817 annually, also offered new opportunities, including the chance to work as deputy again under Steve Carrier, the current Gilford Fire Department chief.
Carrier was chief of the Tilton-Northfield department from 2003-2010.
It will allow him to stay in his New Hampton home as well.
"The fire departments are roughly the same size, but there's a lot of new things to learn, and I'm very much looking forward to it," Ober said.