Newly created town position to be filled by Chris Burney
Following a search that took more than a year, the Board of Selectmen has named Christopher M. Burney as director, facilities and energy management for the Town of Wilton, effective Sept. 1.
“Chris is exactly the person we need,” First Selectman Bill Brennan said, “to provide the technical expertise and vision to develop energy conservation and capital project management initiatives for the town-owned facilities, one of the town’s greatest assets.”
“Chris’s responsibilities,” he continued, “will include planning, implementing and evaluating comprehensive public facility plans, monitoring public facility construction and renovation projects, and overseeing the Town of Wilton Energy Management Plans.”
Brennan explained that the goal of the newly created position is to help the town achieve net long-term cost savings by reducing capital expenditures and lowering energy costs over time.
Burney earned a master of science degree in engineering management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
According to a press release, he has more than 30 years of experience working for “some of the largest healthcare institutions in Connecticut.”
Burney last worked at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Miss.
The press release said he has “typically held Director of Engineering or Facilities Management positions tasked with addressing the complex management and plant challenges inherent in the operations of hospitals and trauma centers.”
Burney’s employment history has equipped him with “technical, financial and personnel management expertise,” the press release said, which town officials believe he will bring to bear at his new job.
In the press release, Brennan said that the position was born from his administration’s desire for fiscal efficiency with regard to facilities in the town of Wilton.
He considers the appointment of Burney to mark the success of that initiative.
“It has been a goal of my administration to put a management structure in place that will ensure responsible, fiscally sound maintenance of the town’s facilities, now and for the future,” Brennan said. “Chris’s hiring is key to the success of this essential town objective.”
At the Board of Selectmen’s meeting on Sept. 8, Brennan said the position was created in 2013, but the search for a properly qualified candidate proved to be more difficult than the board immediately thought.
“Basically, two years ago this position was approved but it turned out to be a challenging search,” he said. “Our search team of Bruce Hampson, Jeff Rutishauser, Dick Dubow and myself — and the NESC [consulting firm] — never gave up, and fortunately we found, interviewed and hired a highly qualified engineer with substantial facilities and energy management experience.
Brennan explained that at this point in time, Burney is settling in to his new position with the help of the first selectman and other town officials.
“We’re now integrating him into the town, and I’m spending as much time as I can introducing him to the schools,” Brennan said.
“We’re slowly getting him into the rhythm of this position,” he added. “It’s an important position that we’ve needed for a long time, and I’m glad I was able to get it done before I’m out of this job. It was a long, long, over two years of searching for the right individual, with a couple of disappointments on some people we thought were good candidates but in the end couldn’t pull the trigger and leave the company they were with.”
“Those things happen,” Brennan said. “Sometimes they happen for the best, and in this case, I’m absolutely convinced it happened for the best, because we have a very qualified and experienced engineer, and a good guy.”