Wilton selectmen reject fire chief candidate

WILTON — After an executive session at a special meeting on Monday, April 28, the Board of Selectmen voted not to hire a new fire chief.

In a regular meeting held immediately after the session, the board approved the following motion made by First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice:

“For the reasons discussed in executive session and in accordance with Charter section C-16B (3) and (8), I move that no contract from the town of Wilton be offered to the candidate for fire chief recommended by the Fire Commission.”

The motion was approved in a 4-0 vote, with Selectman Ross Tartell recusing himself, as he had been a member of the fire commission that recommended the candidate.

The Wilton Fire Commission was established for the purpose of organizing and maintaining a fire department for the town of Wilton.

However, Wilton’s Charter section C-16B (3) and (8), referenced in the motion, grants the Board of Selectmen the right to approve contracts for the town and approve the hiring of any department head for the town.

There was no explanation given by the selectmen as to the name of the candidate under consideration, or reasons they were opposed to the Fire Commission’s recommendation.

Executive sessions are held behind closed doors and are not open to the public.

The town has been without a permanent full-time fire chief for nearly one year. Former Danbury Fire Chief Geoffrey R. Herald has been serving as interim chief for the Wilton Fire Department since July 1, 2019.

Herald replaced Ron Kanterman, who served as Wilton’s Fire Chief from 2014-2019.