Fire Chief and other Staffing Updates


After completing the successful hiring of a new Police Chief, attention has turned to recruiting a new Fire Chief.  A search committee comprised of residents and current fire department staff will assist me in making a final

recommendation to the Board of Selectmen in the coming weeks.

This week, five semifinalists will be partaking in a series of assessment exercises geared toward evaluating the candidates’ skills.  These exercises simulate typical situations a Fire Chief is likely to encounter.  The candidates will be evaluated by 3 current or retired Fire Chiefs whom we have brought in to help us determine who the best candidate to serve our needs is.  Search committee members will be able to observe how the candidates do.

The assessors will present their results of the assessments to the search committee the first of next week.  The committee will take the results, combined with their own review of resumes and written materials each candidate has provided, and determine which two or three candidates will be asked to return for in-depth interviews with the committee.  We plan to conduct these interviews on January 30th. 

One finalist will be chosen as our recommended candidate for the Selectmen to interview at a public meeting.  Following this interview, a final vote on a new contract for our new Fire Chief will be made by the Selectmen. 

Assuming all progresses smoothly, we should have a new Chief in place by April. In the meantime, we continue to be served well by Interim Fire Administrator Al Beardsley who, per state law, is “aged out” of continuing as a full-time Chief.  We look forward to a smooth transition and providing stable leadership to our fire and EMS operations.

In other staffing news, as noted in this paper, we recently said good-bye to two very long serving employees.  Both Beth Heisey and Cyndie Manos have been stalwart fixtures in Town Hall with combined years of service approaching three quarters of a century!  Their commendable service to residents and town staff will be sorely missed.  Beth’s replacement in the Building Department, Cara Cutone, started a few weeks ago and she was able to work with Beth.  She has gotten up to speed very quickly and is fitting in well.  Cyndie’s replacement, Genna Grasso, starts 1/27 as our new Assistant Treasurer/Collector.  We will see if they can match the longevity of Beth and Cyndie!

The Police Department seeks a new patrol officer to fill a vacancy.  And, though it is only January, planning is underway for our summer seasonal hires, including a couple of parking enforcement officers and some 40 Park and Recreation hires for Singing Beach and the Summer Rec Program, an annual process that Cheryl and Heather handle well despite the challenges. 

We are fortunate to have hard working and dedicated staff.  Most employees serve for many, many years as evidenced by our most recent retirees.  We look forward to similar success with our new hires.

board of selectmen, al beardsley, cyndie manos, beth heisey, genna grasso, cara cutone, manchester police chief, manchester fire chief