Wilson justified the decision to extend Andrews’ contract at the meeting.
“We’ve had a lot of transitions in a lot of key positions this year,” Patrick said. “And I think we are doing our level-headed best to work through those transitions. And I believe Mark has been very instrumental in helping us to iron out some of the bumps we’ve encountered.”
Sgt. Jon Gray, president of the Wenham Police Benevolent Association, said his union members asked him to be at the meeting to speak in favor of Andrews’ contract extension.
“Mr. Andrews is a straight shooter,” Gray said. “As president of the union I have the opportunity to deal with him on a regular basis. I can honestly tell you that he runs his office with an open-door policy and he keeps his communication line open, which is key to a successful administration … I think it is refreshing to have a true gentleman in the corner office at Town Hall.”
As full-time fire chief, Blanchard will make $92,000. The fire study group had recommended his hours be increased; they’ve also called for another full-time firefighter to be hired.
“After many months of deliberation and consideration of all the alternatives, it was decided that it simply made very good sense to expand the role of our current fire Chief Bob Blanchard to full time,” Whittaker said.