MANCHESTER — Members of the fire chief search committee are sifting through 35 applications for the fire chief position, as they prepare to meet publicly Wednesday at Town Hall.
Town Administrator Wayne Melville, a member of the committee, said the panel has not decided how many candidates to interview, adding that about 15 candidates meet the requirements set forth in the job posting. The committee is likely looking to compare the potential candidates to one another, according to Melville, rather than interview all who meet the basic standards.
“It’s more of a ladder,” Melville said. “Our goal is to get a group of finalists.”
According to the town’s search criteria, the chief position requires a bachelor’s degree in fire science, business, public administration or a related field, with 10 years related work experience, and a minimum of five years in a command or supervisory position.
The posting on the town’s website also specifies that “any equivalent combination of education, training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities to perform essential functions of the job” will be adequate, opening the door to applicants who do not meet all of the specified qualifications depending on various department structures.
The town stopped accepting applications on July 2, but with summer vacations, Melville had been unable to find a date when he could gather a quorum before Wednesday, he said.
Four people constitute a quorum, there are seven people on the committee, and at least six committee members will be in attendance for the 7 p.m. Wednesday meeting. Though the meeting is open to the public, candidates’ names will remain confidential at this point, according to Melville.
“We will either refer to candidates by number or go into executive session,” Melville said.
The search committee, consisting of Melville, Selectman Paul Barclay, Topsfield fire chief Ron Giovannacci, retired former North Reading chief Richard Harris, and three Manchester residents, will later interview and select finalists, then pass on their recommendation to the Board of Selectmen.
Marjorie Nesin can be reached at 978-283-7000 x3451, or email@example.com.