PEPPERELL -- The Board of Selectmen unanimously reappointed Peter Shattuck, Milton Blood, John Love and Toby Tyler to one-year terms on the Board of Fire Engineers this week.

Chairman Joseph Sergi complimented the four on their chemistry and contributions to the town.

"It's nice to see, in fact, you all as a board are working -- I think endeavoring -- really committed to the fire services and public safety. It's not just fire, it's the ambulance, it's the full sweep," said Sergi.

Sergi also polled the appointees on their support for a Charter Commission recommendation that the Board of Fire Engineers transition to a fire chief, which is anticipated to take place within the next four years. All four of the appointees affirmed their support of the plan.

According to Sergi, the Charter Commission and the Board of Fire Engineers agreed to a process for the transition during a working session last week.

"We're looking to have a chief in place by the third year of the charter," said Sergi.

The initial appointment of a fire chief is expected to be a two-year term with an initial review of the position and appointment on the fifth anniversary of the new Charter.

"I just want to thank you, all four, for working together over the last year," added Selectman Stephen Themelis.

"It seems like things have been a lot more productive, I think, from the town's perspective," he said.


Selectmen also addressed a proposal to reinstate a stipend for the elected position of tree warden. That position, which has in recent years been held by Highway Superintendent Peter Shattuck, had the $1,200 annual stipend removed four years ago.

"I think it should be reinstated," said Sergi.

"With this position, and what I understand the responsibilities to be, I would recommend that we increase the funding somewhere between $3,000 to $5,000," he said.

"I don't agree with the stipend," said town resident and Board of Health member Phillip Durno.

"Make it part of his job. His increase should be in his salary, not in the stipend," he said.

Town Administrator John Moak recommended that the stipend come out of the existing $14,471 tree experts budget.

"It should be new funding," said Sergi.

The board agreed to a $1,500 stipend, which will be presented to the Finance Committee.

The Charter Commission is expected to recommend that the elected position of tree warden be eliminated and rolled into the job description of the highway superintendent at a future date.

The board announced that the annual Car Show sponsored by 1A Auto of Pepperell will be held on July 28. All proceeds will go to the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America and the North Middlesex Athletic Boosters. The event is anticipated to draw 200 show vehicles.

"If you have a car, $10 for a space. If you have a business, and you'd like to promote your business to the town, $10 for a space and you can come and set up," said Selectman Michael Green, who is a co-founder of 1A Auto.

The board also announced the resignation of Town Treasurer/Collector Michael Hartnett, who has taken a new position with the town of Groton. The Board of Selectmen is seeking candidates for a temporary appointment that will be in place until next year's annual town election. Applications may be submitted to the Board of Selectmen not later than noon on April 12. Additional information is available at Town Hall, on the town website, or by calling the Board of Selectmen office at 978-433-0333.

VFW Post 3291 will be holding a Veteran's Breakfast sponsored by Masy Systems. The guest speaker will be one of their employees, Christine Scully. Scully, a U.S. Army veteran and reservist who served in Iraq, will be talking about women in the military.

The board also endorsed the 36-article town warrant, which will be presented at annual Town Meeting on Monday, May 6. The board also approved a drug and alcohol policy for town employees.