About 30 people packed the selectmen’s chambers Tuesday night, as a split board of selectmen voted 3 to 2 to reject Acting Town Manager Michael Malinowski’s appointment of Acting Police Chief Bill Quigley to the position of permanent police chief.
Many in the audience signed a petition in favor of promoting Quigley, but a petition against the move is also being circulated.
Selectman Chair Fred Koed, who supports an open police chief search, read from a prepared statement regarding the issue and said, “Is it really true democracy under our system when the policy direction of the town’s elected representatives is thwarted by an appointed manager? Is it truly democratic government, when the appointment of our next police chief becomes a rallying cry for one faction’s political agenda? This agenda item should be about the process – about an open, fair and objective process to select the next professional to lead our police department. It is not a popularity contest!”
Selectmen Martha Gjesteby, Karen Quigley and Fred Koed voted against the appointment, with selectmen Steve Gaumer and Diane Kennedy voting in favor.