Capt. Steve McLean was appointed the new Burlington Assistant Fire Chief with the ascension of former assistant Andrew Connerty to chief.
McLean was appointed unanimously at a Select Board meeting Monday night in front of a packed house of family and firefighters.
Connerty said there were four very worthy applicants for the job, which made the job of choosing that much harder.
“It’s pretty much the the most difficult thing I’ve had to do and I’m not even chief yet,” Connerty said.
McLean has been a fire captain for three years, a Lieutenant for 18 years — four of those as Fire Prevention Lieutenant — and a firefighter for nine. He’s was an early recipient of a Bachelor of Science of Emergency Management and an Associate’s Degree in Fire Science. He is also a graduate of Burlington High School.
“He is a high-quality fire officer and an excellent choice to be the next assistant chief,” Connerty said.
The board approved Town Administrator Paul Sagarino’s recommendation, 5-0-0.
In perhaps his last public appearance before his retirement, Chief Michael Patterson was in attendance for the appointment and received many accolades from Connerty and the board.
Select Board member James Tigges said he first met Patterson at a police and fire golf tournament way back in the day. Tigges said he had never played golf, but Patterson said he would teach him. Tigges then said, “I still stink at golf!” Patterson responded, “So do I!”
Patterson was called a “great mentor” by Connerty. Select Board Chair Nick Priest acknowledged Patterson’s great leadership and managing the department during the pandemic.
All members of the Select Board, along with Town Administrator Sagarino, Assistant Town Administrator John Danizio and Select Board Office Manager Lyn Mills, wore custom shirts in support town employee Jennifer Ryan, who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. The shirts read, “In this town no one fight alone.”
A moment of silence was also observed for beloved Burlington resident Dottie Yeadon, who passed away from cancer on Dec. 5. She was a longtime Burlington bus driver whose love for the town — and especially student athletes — was unparalleled.
Select Board member Mike Espejo, like many residents, considered her a second mom, and always appreciated the full-size candy bars on Halloween.
“She touched this town in thousands of ways,” board member Joseph Morandi said. “Thank you, Dottie.”
“She was the heart and soul of Burlington,” Tigges said.
The DPW also recognized the contribution of Supt. Of Central Maintenance George Tommy Lee, who is retiring from the department after 35 years.