Town seeks to make Fire Chief position more desirable in a hot market

by beth on January 4, 2019

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Yesterday, I shared a link to Southborough Wicked Local’s story that the Board of selectmen voted to increase the salary range for a new Fire Chief. But that was buried under another headline and deserves it’s own post. Especially, since that failed to capture some things I felt were worth detailing.

[Editor’s Note: As promised in comments – I will follow up on the other story I “linked” out of the BOS Meeting. But that post is taking me longer than expected, since I need to follow up on a detail. So, I’m putting that on hold until Monday.]

SWL posted that the board is seeking to recruit more talent through changes to the salary range and residency requirements:

The new chief could make up to $150,000. The previous job opening post only included Mauro’s current salary of $124,925.

“What we have learned since we posted it, that is not the going rate for a fire chief in the town of Southborough or a town its size,” said Jason Malinowski, chairman of the Fire Chief Screening Committee. . .

Another change to the job description includes a requirement to live within 15 miles of town. Previous residency requirements called for the chief to live no farther than two towns away. It also stated that, if needed, a move will need to happen with 18 months of starting the job.

The changes are needed to draw an even wider pool of hopefuls, Malinowski said.

The article includes more interesting details. But in watching the meeting, there were items from the talk not covered that I thought were worth sharing.

Despite the residency changes – you can expect candidates’ ability to respond quickly to be part of the consideration process for at least one board member. Phaneuf reminded the public that she is the wife of a former Fire Chief. She was initially hesitant on loosening the residency requirements.

The selectwoman made it clear that she expects the Chief to respond to all emergencies – not pick and choose. She pointed out that it’s not a large force and it is a strong, working chief position. She said the chief needs to protect the men in women in the department and the community.

Malinowski responded that it was a great interview question. He was personally less concerned about narrowing by map. Speaking as a firefighter in another Town “five borders from Southborough”, Malinowski said he can get there in less than 20 minutes and make it to some scenes before active on duty crew can.

Malinowski told the board that the market they are competing in for Fire Chiefs is hot right now.

On Wednesday, selectmen expanded the charge of Malinowski’s recruitment committee. It will now also observe semi-finalists at the assessment center and forward its list of finalists for the Board to interview.

Updated (1/6/19 10:33 am): Fixed a typo.

1 arborist January 6, 2019 at 12:10 PM

Well that raise is a far cry to what the currant chief is making?, @ this new rate up to $150,000 the new chief can afford to live in Southboro,, If I can live here He or She should be able to also. Pluss when there is a large incident the chief should be on scene within a matter of minutes , not coming from several towns away. This would allow the firefighters and medics on duty to perform other tasks and not having to be a chief at the same time

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