The Recorder – 10-article New Salem Town Meeting includes extension for fire chief

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Published: 3/20/2023 1:46:02 PM

NEW SALEM — Following an affirmative vote in Wendell earlier this month, Special Town Meeting voters will be asked to allow Joe Cuneo, who serves as fire chief in both communities, to serve in his position until age 70.

Public safety employees are required by state law to retire by age 65 unless there is an act of the state Legislature allowing them more time on the job. The pair of Town Meeting articles in New Salem and Wendell authorize each Selectboard to petition the Legislature to pass a bill allowing Cuneo to serve until age 70, his retirement or his non-reappointment, whichever occurs first.

Cuneo has been chief in New Salem since 2008 and in Wendell since 2014. He holds each part-time position independently of the other. Cuneo has said he is unsure when he will retire, but he will turn 65 in October.

New Salem’s Special Town Meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 21, in the Town Hall Annex at 24 South Main St.

The majority of the other nine warrant articles pertain to unpaid bills. Three of those articles have to do with $1,491, $1,615 and $8.99 bills owed by the New Salem Fire Department. Town Coordinator Kathy Neal said there are three articles because they are “three different bills for three different things.”

Another article asks voters if they agree to establish a Capital Stabilization Fund for the Ralph C. Mahar Regional School District, while another pertains to a Special Education Stabilization Fund.

The warrant can be reviewed at

Contact Neal at with any questions.

Reach Domenic Poli at: or 413-930-4120.

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