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Selectmen Agree Roles of Fire Chief & Fire Marshal to Remain Separate

The two jobs have been held by two different people; they've been held by the same person. Now things are going to change again.

 

At their meeting September 26, the Board of Selectmen voted to keep separate the roles of town fire chief and town fire marshal.

All members voted in favor of the motion; Selectman Carol Walter abstained from the vote.

In the past, the person elected to fire chief by members of the Clinton Volunteer Fire Department was either the same person who held the role of paid fire marshal for the town, or different.  Confusing? Yes.

In previous years Oscar Allen was the fire marshal and chief. He stepped away from the chief's position for many years, then returned to the dual posts. He received a stipend as fire marshal during this time. One of the deputy fire marshals, Jeff Miller, at the time was also receiving a stipend and holding a position as assistant chief at the Fire Department.

The fire chief is not paid; the fire marshal receives a budget of $35,000 a year (2012 figures) which is distributed among the deputy fire marshal and the deputies. The fire marshal also receives a town vehicle.

Recently, the fire marshal and fire chief roles are again held by one person, Frank Schrempp.

"We voted to keep the roles separate," said First Selectman Willie Fritz. "Now Frank needs to come back to us and let us know what he's going to do. If he says he's not running for fire chief this November, we can appoint him as fire marshal at the next selectmen's meeting."

The separation of the roles also applies to the deputy fire chief and deputy fire marshal.

sally cotter September 28, 2012 at 11:58 AM
If I'm not mistaken, Hugh Allen was both for quite a while. Guess we will lose a very competent chief. Too bad.
Susan Girardi September 28, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Why do the Selectmen care if it's combined? Do they have nothing else better to do with their time? The fire dept. has a very competent person in the role of Fire Chief and the town has a very competent person as Fire Marshall. Why rock the boat? Perhaps the Selectmen have someone they want to fill the Fire Marshall position?
Bob Caffery September 28, 2012 at 02:52 PM
You have got to be joking? Our town is running that good that the selectmen have only these small details to deal with? What difference does it make if the Fire Marshal and the Fire Chief are one of the same! Did the Selectmen do any research in to this. If they did they would find a lot of volunteer and even some paid departments have a dual role position. There are not a lot of people floating around who are certified Fire Marshals. If the current Fire Marshal and Deputies resign, which probably will happen, the Town will be stuck paying to put another person through the program, then move on to become a full time Fire Marshal in a bigger department or a insurance company and the Town will pay again and again. Oh that:s right, the board of selectmen loves handing out money, just raise the taxes!
R Alvin September 28, 2012 at 07:33 PM
I just want to understand why Carol Walters abstained.
Trish September 28, 2012 at 07:33 PM
I agree with Bob Cafferty & Sue Girardi. The fire department requires a specific skill set and specialized training. The Board of Selectman in their fiscally irresponsible wisdom have voted to separate the positions and Frank Schrempp must appear before the Board and communicate his future intentions in the Fire Department. I think Sue Girardi hit the nail on the head. Someone on the Board of Selectman has a friend or and acquaintance in mind for the position if Frank Schrempp opts out. I've been in Cinton for 3 years, and I was active in local government in the city I lived in prior to Clinton. Politics in my old city were as side show at best, but P T Barnum would be very proud of Clinton, CT. In Clinton, It is never about the greater good for all, it is about what works the best for Clinton's 1 % and their friends.
DisgruntledInClinton September 28, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Trish, welcome to Clinton. You can see by my "name" how I feel about this town. And, yes, my husband and I are readying everything as efficiently we can to get out in the next five years! Our property taxes are up $600 this year. (Add that to the expiring Bush tax cuts, which will add at least another $6,000 to our bill.) Can't wait to see how much taxes go up for the new high school (having no children, I've always been a strong supporter of education, but very disappointed in the mediocre ratings Clinton schools have) and then the new water treatment plant, all while we keep losing our business base. And house values down as much as 40%. Did some research and my Clinton property taxes (not counting cars, etc.) have more than tripled. Hmmm...
peter seale September 28, 2012 at 10:13 PM
I served as Assistant Chief with Frank for several years. Of all the chiefs he is one of the best ever. To split the jobs does not do a thing for Clinton. It will mean the Chief and the Fire Marshal each will have a car doubling the need for cars. Look at all the area Fire Depts. and see how many of them have dual role Chiefs both paid and volunteer depts. The BOD needs to rethink this
Huskyfan October 01, 2012 at 08:30 PM
I assume most you have not read the original article about Schrempp wanting a LIFETIME appointment as fire marshall, and increase in salary from $20K to $60K and a new vehicle.... hmmm sounds like a good deal for Mr.Schrempp if it was approved. Read the comments as well along with the article: http://clinton.patch.com/articles/fire-chief-frank-schrempp-wants-to-change-town-charter
Bob Caffery October 02, 2012 at 07:06 AM
Yes Husky fan I was aware of the current situation with Chief Schrempp, but that problem is simply resolved by not renewing his contract.There is no benefit by making it mandatory that the F/C and F/M have to be two separate people. Unfortunately the apparent greed of a individual should not make policy for a entire town. Also, if he resigns as Chief then the BOS still have to consider his demands for increase in pay and benefits. Take care of the problem instead of creating new ones
Huskyfan October 02, 2012 at 12:50 PM
WHile there may be no benefit, it still is a conflict of interest. Having more power being Chief and Fire Marshall. He said in the article how much work it was to be the Fire Marshal and demanded a $40K raise, yet he refused to step down as Chief. If its so much work to be Marshal, then why he a Chief as well? Seems like he wants to be Chief, with the benefits of being a fire Marshall. If people don't see it being a problem holding both positions, then why doesn't it just become one position itself?

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