Shelton changing how fire officials are selected

 By AMANDA CUDA      cuda.connpost@snet.net      Thursday, July 20, 2000

               SHELTON - There will be some changes in the way the city selects its
               fire officials, following a Wednesday meeting of the Board of Fire
               Commissioners. 

               The board Wednesday approved new job descriptions for fire chief,
               assistant chief and deputy chief. 

               However, Commission Chairman Kenneth F. Nappi said descriptions for
               "non-tested positions" - including fire marshal, fire alarm superintendent
               and assistant fire alarm superintendent - still need to be discussed and
               approved. Nappi said he didn't know when that would happen. 

               The changes include the creation of a deputy fire chief position and the
               extension of term limits for administrators, from two to three years. 

               Commissioners also approved a new appointment process, which would
               include having job applicants take a technical oral examination,
               conducted by fire officials from outside the department and one
               volunteer firefighter. The board would then interview the five top-scoring
               candidates. 

               Nappi said the changes, discussed at a board workshop last week, need
               approval from the city's corporation counsel. If the changes are
               adopted, it will be the first time the descriptions have been changed
               since the 1980s. 

               The changes come less than a month after a Derby Superior Court ruling
               said that three fire administrators - Chief John Millo and Assistant Fire
               Chiefs Justin Sabatino and Stephen Nesteriak - were illegally promoted
               and should step down. 

               The court's ruling came as the result of a lawsuit filed by seven
               firefighters who claimed that the three were promoted despite failing a
               required written exam. 

              Amanda Cuda, who covers Ansonia, can be reached at 736-5440.