NORWAY — The Board of Selectmen will hold a public hearing Oct. 20 on whether the fire chief’s position should change from elected to appointed.

The hearing will begin at 7 p.m. at the Town Office.

The question will appear on the Nov. 8 referendum ballot.

Selectmen said earlier this year that they wanted to change the way the chief is chosen to give officials more authority over the hiring process. They said in August that appointing a fire chief will bring greater accountability. They also worried that a popular but unqualified candidate would not be best for the town.

Fire Chief Dennis Yates said he is in favor of the change.

Town Manager David Holt said that allowing selectmen to hire the chief would provide “a more formal process,” which “would allow for background checks and competency testing.”

If residents pass the referendum, the change would go into effect in June 2018, after Yates’ term ends.

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