7-article warrant includes extension for Wendell fire chief, free cash transfers

By DOMENIC POLI

Staff Writer

Published: 03-02-2023 6:03 PM

WENDELL — Public safety employees are required by state law to retire by age 65. But an act of the state Legislature can allow an individual more time in their field.

That’s exactly what Wendell voters will consider requesting through a vote at the Special Town Meeting slated to begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday at Town Hall.

One of the final articles on the seven-article warrant asks voters if they agree to authorize the Selectboard to petition the Legislature to pass a bill allowing Fire Chief Joe Cuneo to continue serving in his position until age 70, his retirement or his non-reappointment, whichever occurs first. Cuneo, who has held his position since 2014, said he is unsure when he will retire but he will turn 65 in October.

Dale Kowacki, executive director of the Franklin Regional Retirement System, explained an employee’s retirement accrual ceases at 65 but Cuneo could be allowed to work until 70, though the benefits he is eligible for when he no longer holds the position “would be based on what was put on ice at age 65.”

Cuneo has also been chief in New Salem since 2008. He holds each part-time position independently of the other.

Five of the Special Town Meeting articles involve transferring money from free cash, including $278,893 to the Stabilization Fund and $90,000 to pay for the Mormon Hollow Road culvert repairs.

The full warrant can be viewed at bit.ly/3KPVW3i.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or
413-930-4120.

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