GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

October 11, 2012

Manchester OKs $105K for fire chief

By Marjorie Nesin Staff Writer
Gloucester Daily Times

---- — When Manchester’s new fire chief takes his place at the station at the end of the month, he will begin earning a $105,000 salary, selectmen decided Tuesday night.

Selectmen, signing off on a chief contract for Glen A. Rogers in an executive session Tuesday, allotted the $105,000 salary with an annual 2.5 percent raise for the next three years, Town Administrator Wayne Melville confirmed Wednesday.

Rogers’ salary is the same base pay former Manchester fire chief Andrew Paskalis earned when he retired in June. Melville said Rogers’s starting salary is equal to Paskalis’s highest pay because the market for department heads has changed.

“For the communities on Cape Ann, when you hire department heads, especially from outside, the salaries go up because ... the market for department heads and administrators is climbing,” Melville said.

Plus, the town needed to offer Rogers a salary he would accept under negotiations, according to Melville, who said Rogers earns more at his Falmouth deputy chief’s job than he will in Manchester.

“You have to vet the person and they have to check you out in return,” Melville said. “The man is earning a great deal more than that ($105,000) in his present job.”

Rogers has worked as a deputy fire chief in Falmouth since 1999. He is a certified paramedic and has completed three years of a four year term in the executive fire officer program at the National Fire Academy. Rogers earned a Medal of Valor in 1995, and has been appointed to the Governor’s Massachusetts Fire Training Council.

In his spare time in Falmouth, Rogers volunteered as the assistant scoutmaster of Boy Scouts and trained as an “ironman” triathlete, completing the Lake Placid competition of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike race and a 26.2 mile run in 16 hours and 25 minutes.

The 2.5 percent raise will automatically tack on to Rogers’ paycheck each year of his employment, according to Melville. Next year Rogers’ salary will bump up to $107,625. His pay will hit $110,315.63 the following year, and the year after that, Rogers will earn $113,073.52.

“The idea is the department head is expected to perform or be replaced,” Melville said, explaining why the raise is set as absolute.

Selectmen are planning a public ceremony to welcome Melville to the force and pin him with a chief badge. But in the meantime, as Rogers finishes up work at the Falmouth department, he spends his days off in Manchester, coming up weekly for the last few weeks, according to Melville.

“He’s trying to hit the ground running,” Melville said. “The idea is he wants to be in command when he starts on the 29th.”

Marjorie Nesin can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3451, or at mnesin@gloucestertimes.com.