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Lyndeborough

BOS opts for a part-time chief

New system of leadership being pursued

LYNDEBOROUGH — The process for hiring a police chief will be moving ahead, after the Select Board on Wednesday agreed that the position should be a part-time job.

Lyndeborough’s Police Department is currently managed by Lt. Rance Deware, who is serving as an officer in charge rather than a police chief.

Deware has been officer in charge since June 2012, when he was named to the part-time job after Thomas Burke resigned, charging that selectmen had been interfering with management of the department.

In March, voters at Town Meeting narrowly approved a petition warrant article directing the board to hire a police chief rather than continue with the officer-in-charge structure.

According to Cindy Hasty, the town’s administrative assistant, board members at Wednesday’s meeting focused on whether the job should be full- or part-time.

One of the issues, she said, was the cost of retirement and medical benefits that would need to be paid if it was a full-time job.

The board also discussed whether the town would be able to attract a full-time candidate, given the salary constraints.

Deware is a retired police officer who is only eligible to work a limited number of hours. Burke was also a retired officer.

Hasty said board members Kevin Boette, Arnie Byam and Fred Douglas unanimously agreed that the police chief job should be part-time.

Douglas is working on a draft for a police chief job description and an outline of the proposed hiring process. He is expected to present that information at the board’s meeting on June 26.

In other business, resident Lee Mayhew told the board that a planning grant for a sidewalk between the center of town and Lyndeborough Central School has been approved under the Safe Routes to School program.

“We’ll be working on a plan to justify creating a sidewalk,” Mayhew said.

He said if a plan is eventually approved, the town will need to apply for a second grant to fund the project.

Boette said a sidewalk would be a significant improvement to the center of town.

Mayhew also suggested that the town might consider establishing a capital reserve fund to pay for sections of sidewalk that might not be covered, if Safe Routes to School eventually funds a walkway.

Boette asked him to come up with an amount that might be needed.

Dave Anderson can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 233 or danderson@ledgertranscript.com. He’s on Twitter at @DaveAndersonMLT.

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