Selectmen yesterday voted unanimously to appoint retired Sudbury Fire Chief Michael Dunne as Southborough’s interim chief to replace the retiring John Mauro Jr. Dunne will hold the position until a permanent chief can be hired, which is expected to happen later this fall.
Dunne said he is not interested in a permanent position with the department, and has not thrown his hat in the ring for the chief’s position.
While they acknowledged there could be cultural and other adjustment issues, Selectmen said appointing someone from outside the department made sense in the event internal candidates have applied for the fire chief position.
Selectmen have not been involved in the screening process, so they don’t know for sure if internal candidates have applied, but they said they considered the possibility “likely.”
Selectman Bill Boland said naming someone from inside the department as interim chief “could be perceived as giving one candidate a leg up.”
Dunne said he does not plan on making any major changes to department operations during his time as interim chief, rather he said his goal is to provide continuity.
“I plan to uphold things just as Chief Mauro has. He and I probably operate similarly,” Dunne said.
Boland said Dunne is being hired to maintain the order of the department and to start work on the department’s budget for FY2013. “He seems like a good guy,” Boland said. “He’s a lucky find because he has no agenda.”
Calling retiring chief Mauro a “shining example,” Rooney said expectations for Dunne would be high. “The shoes you’re filling, even on an interim basis, are substantial,” he said.
“Southborough has a great department,” Dunne said. “I wouldn’t have been interested if it wasn’t a great department.”