Editorial: Supporting Deputy Slaman for Fire Chief

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Dear Fellow Residents,
I was extremely disappointed when I logged onto HopNews and read my local newspaper this morning to find out our Board of Selectman has decided to reopen the search for our next Fire Chief. The Board of Selectman set up a search committee for our next Fire Chief. The committee consisted of Selectman John Mosher, Human Resource Director Maria Casey, Personnel Committee Chairman Bob Levenson, Town Manager Norman Khumalo and Newbury Fire Chief Christopher LeClaire. The search was opened up to candidates from both Massachusetts and outside the Commonwealth. The committee received 18 applications. The committee did its due diligence and narrowed down the field to two candidates.

According to Chairman Levenson there was a clear consensus of the committee that Deputy Steve Slaman was one of two candidates out of the all the applicants to be recommend to the Board of Selectman. After Chief Daugherty withdrew his name from consideration it is apparent that the search committee’s recommendation is no longer valid.

I retired from the Hopkinton Police Department recently after 32 years of service. I have had the pleasure of working with many outstanding public safety officials. I have worked alongside Deputy Slaman for over 25 years and have found him extremely dedicated, very knowledgeable and a great leader. I have felt Deputy Slaman would be the best choice to be our next Fire Chief. I base my opinion on the following:
• Deputy Slaman was born and raised in Hopkinton. No candidate will know the town better.
• Deputy Slaman has been a fulltime Hopkinton Firefighter for over 26 years, rising through the ranks to become Deputy Chief.
• Deputy Slaman earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. He was accredited by the Massachusetts Fire Service Commission in a process for uniform credentialing of Fire Chiefs.
• Deputy Slaman managed the consolidation of the Fire and Police Dispatching. This was a two-three year project that brought many changes to both departments.
• Deputy Slaman has been the Fire Department liaison with the police department for the Boston Marathon. The preparation for the Marathon has become a yearlong event.

Chairman Levenson is quoted as urging the Board of Selectman to hire Deputy Slaman. Selectman Mosher is quoted that he has complete confidence in Deputy Slaman and that he would be comfortable with him as Chief.

The Board of Selectman encourages input from their constituents regarding important matters affecting the town. I encourage my fellow residents to contact members of the Board of Selectman through email, a telephone call, a letter or in person and let them know you support Deputy Chief Steve Slaman to be our next Fire Chief.

Patrick O’Brien
13 Ray Street