|Lanesborough Appoints Ofc. Newberry To Emergency Management Director Job|
|By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff|
01:07AM / Tuesday, August 29, 2017
|The Selectmen opted to appoint Officer Dale Newberry to the job.|
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Selectmen have appointed part-time Police Officer Dale Newberry as the next emergency management director.
Current Director Charles Garrity is resigning from the position. At first, only two candidates applied for the volunteer position, former firefighter Timothy Sayers and current Fire Chief Charles Durfee. But the Selectmen weren't set on either of them
and put it out for another round of applications.
Newberry had considered the position before but backed out after hearing about the interest of others. The Selectmen reached out to him to see if he'd be interested in taking the job and, on Monday, approved his appointment. Sayers and Durfee also kept applications in for the job and Peter Prieto of North Adams submitted a resume showing interest.
Durfee is currently doing the work on an interim basis. But he had made a pitch to the Selectmen saying he's been doing most of the job all along. He said most towns have their police or fire chief serve in the role. But, Selectman Robert Ericson wants the fire chief to focus on managing his department during an emergency and somebody else take on the other tasks.
"I can't imagine any condition in an emergency situation where the Fire Department won't be involved," Ericson said.
Sayers is no longer on the department after taking a job with Pittsfield. Ericson said he thought Sayers might be too young for such a task. And the Selectmen praised Prieto's resume but preferred the local candidates instead.
"I prefer it be someone who is familiar with the town, and all of the people," Ericson said.
Selectman John Goerlach said he believes Sayers would still do a good job despite his age, but felt Newberry was a better fit for the role. Ericson and Goerlach both agreed to the appointment, while the third Selectman Henry "Hank" Sayers abstained from the vote because his son was a candidate.
In other business, the Selectmen appointed Police Officer Brennan Polidoro to a full-time job. Polidoro is a full-time officer in Sheffield and has been working part time with Lanesborough for the last two years. He'll be filling an opening coming this September with the retirement of Officer Jim Rathbun.
The Selectmen also authorized additional compensation to Police Chief Timothy Sorrell should he need to fill in for a shift. Sorrell said he is still somewhat short staffed in the department and will take an evening shift if he can't find another officer to take it.
"I'm only doing it if nobody else is signing up for it," Sorrell said.
Sayers questioned whether those night shifts could operate with one less officer, but Sorrell said no. Sorrell says he has a plan in the works to bring on additional part timers to help fill the shifts, but the focus recently was hiring for that full-time job.