GET BREAKING NEWS IN YOUR BROWSER. CLICK HERE TO TURN ON NOTIFICATIONS.

X

PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

PEPPERELL — At their meeting Monday, June 14 the selectmen voted unanimously to add two full-time staffers to the town’s payroll.

One of the new employees will replace Cathy Forrest, the retiring administrative assistant to the newly appointed police chief David Scott. The other new employee will fill the position of town dispatcher, a post that had been vacant for almost two months. Pepperell’s hiring freeze had been in effect since March 24, 2008.

Scott introduced Heath Ganley, his pick to replace Forrest, who is retiring in August. After a search process that began in March, Ganely bested 125 other applicants and during the selectmen’s brief vetting process made her feelings clear. ” I am happy I was selected, it is a great fit, I am excited to start,” she said.

Scott had requested 180 hours of training time for Ganely, with her training to be handled by Forrest.

Selectmen Joseph Sergi, Joe Hallisey and Chairman Patrick McNabb, spent a considerable amount of time questioning Scott and Forrest, asking if the proposed 180 hours of training was excessive.

“What would happen if this request for this many hours would not be granted?” Sergi asked. “This request is weighed in totality of what the town can do.”

Forrest demonstrated the need for the training by waving two pages of pink notepaper filled with her itemized checklist of training topics. As she recited the details of her work and the many of the areas that would soon become Ganely’s responsibility, the selectman listened quietly.

Scott further explained that not only was this time needed, but that he had budgeted for it. The motion for Ganely’s hiring and her paid 180 hours of training were passed unanimously.

Next in the hot seats were David Stairs, the town’s assistant communications director, and his pick to fill the vacant dispatcher’s post, Amanda Turcotte. As the selectmen reviewed Turcotte’s many honors and long list of qualifications, they had few questions to ask her or Stairs

Stairs announced that he had, “Liked her resume and liked her.”

Turcotte, who is relocating from Maryland to Nashua, N.H. to take this post, was quickly voted in.

The meeting ended with Scott appealing to the selectmen and town administrator John Moak to allow him to add another full-time patrolman so that the department’s ranks would again be filled with 16 officers.

“We need to think this through,” McNabb said.

“We are facing a half million deficit 2011,” said Sergi. “Where should that level of public safety be?”

This issue will now land in the hands of the Finance Committee who will determine if this issue will be again reviewed by the selectmen.