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Second public hearing on Weare police chief to be held next week

Last modified: 5/15/2015 11:55:01 PM
A second public hearing to consider whether Weare should hire Interim Police Chief Sean Kelly to stay on as part-time chief will be held Monday.

Selectmen first announced their choice to keep Kelly on as chief at the end of last month, saying they wanted to keep consistent leadership at the police department. Prior to that, town officials contracted with consulting company Municipal Resources Inc. to find a new chief and were starting to advertise for the position.

If hired, Kelly would work 32 hours per week and serve for three years before officials would decide whether to renew his contract.

About 10 residents showed up to the first public hearing Monday. While many people said they were pleased with Kelly’s performance as chief, some residents said they believed the town’s police force should have a full-time chief and told selectmen they wished they had waited for the hiring process to play itself out.

Some residents also argued for selectmen to reduce the length of time in Kelly’s contract to one year, to allow voters to consider the issue.

If hired, Kelly’s starting pay would be $78,000 annually, which will gradually rise to $87,107 by Jan. 1, 2018. Town officials told residents that hiring Kelly would save the town between $15,740 and $28,113 per year, because they don’t have to pay for his health insurance or pay into the New Hampshire Retirement System on his behalf. Since Kelly is already retired, that is paid for by the state retirement system.

At Monday’s meeting, some of the residents who spoke chastised town officials for not advertising the event on their website last week. A notice has since gone up on the town’s website.

The public hearing will be held at the Weare Town Offices at 7:30 p.m.

(Ella Nilsen can be reached at 369-3322, enilsen@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @ella_nilsen.)


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