Board of Selectmen roundup: Fire chief choice expedited

First Selectman Bill Brennan confirmed that the potential candidate for the open fire chief position has “moved on,” and that the town has “moved on as well.”

He noted he has urged the fire commission to come back with new candidates for the open fire chief position faster than their previous efforts. He also said he has floated the idea of an interim fire chief with the commission, and has asked to the commission to look more closely at the proposal.

In total, he said he made three requests of the fire commission:

• “Come back with recommendations on the search process. We don’t want this to take five months, we want it to take three.

• “Consider the possibility of an interim fire chief. [Deputy Chief] Mark [Amatrudo] has been carrying the ball for five months. What are the pluses and negatives on that idea?

• “Review the entire policy and requirements for a potential fire chief selection.”

The former candidate, Matthew Marcarelli, was the director of training for the city of New Haven Fire Department, and was in charge of the New Haven Regional Fire Academy. According to Mr. Marcarelli’s LinkedIn profile, he has been director of training and safety officer since August 2011. Prior to that, he was a captain with the New Haven Fire Department from December 2009 to July 2010, according to the profile. He received a bachelor of science degree from Charter Oak State College in public safety administration.

Mr. Marcarelli is also one of a group known as the New Haven 20 who sued the city of New Haven for discrimination in the Fire Department’s promotion process. They were a group of 19 white firefighters and one Hispanic who claimed they were discriminated against when they were not promoted after passing an exam in 2003. The group claimed they were denied promotions “because we are White or Hispanic and not enough Black candidates succeeded,” according to a case summary on the website newhaven20.com.

Miller-Driscoll timeline

Selectman Dick Dubow delineated a timeline of plans for the Miller-Driscoll Building Committee to present its school renovation proposals.

• Feb. 12 — Presentation of recommendations to the Board of Selectmen.

• March 3 — Board of Selectmen will vote on building committee recommendations.

• March 18 — The Board of Selectmen will give a project status report to the Board of Finance.

When these steps are completed, the companies involved in the building project will be able to produce a final schematic program allowing Turner Engineers to provide a realistic speed of completion estimate.

A major point of discussion at the building committee meetings, Mr. Dubow said, was the proposed design’s ability to be flexible for special education services.

Mr. Dubow said the committee asked the architecture firm Tai Soo Kim to advise it if there is flexibility “in the design to expand or reallocate space for special education services” if that department is larger than expected in the future.

Education auditing firm

The board voted to approve BlumShaprio as the accounting firm responsible for education auditing services. It will replace O’Connor Davies.

Four firms responded to a request for proposals for Board of Education auditing services. These firms were interviewed by the Board of Finance, town staff, and Board of Education staff, according to Mr. Brennan.

After reviewing each business’s application, staff decided to recommend BlumShapiro as “the most qualified and highly experienced,” Mr. Brennan said.

“They have good past experience with us, and offer additional services which distinguished them” from other firms, he added.

Facilities manager

Mr. Brennan said interviews with four candidates for the facilities and energy management position were to begin Tuesday. Mr. Dubow, Bruce Hampson of the energy commission, and Jeffrey Rutishauser of the Board of Finance will conduct the interviews, he said.

“All the candidates are engineers with considerable experience in different areas,” he said.