I have a special story to tell about a recent experience as a member of the Portsmouth Town Council.
On Monday, October 22, Michael Cranson was appointed Portsmouth Fire Chief. This appointment was extraordinary.
The Council majority approved the employment of a recruiting firm to find the best available candidate to replace recently retired Chief Lynch. The Council minority and many others thought it best to follow tradition and promote from within. However, having just hired the new Town Administrator with the aid of professionals, I am convinced that all top management positions should be filled in this manner.
Michael and two other Portsmouth firefighters competed against 59 applicants from across the nation. We understood there were good candidates in our Fire House, but how good? Now we know.
What makes this so special is, not only do we know, but now Michael knows how good he is and, just as importantly, the Portsmouth Fire Department and surrounding fire departments all know how good he is. Michael competed nationally with the best available candidates and proved his worthiness to his peers, the Town Administrator, the Town Council and the citizens of Portsmouth.
The pride, self esteem and confidence that accompanies winning a rigorous competition for promotion is far superior than a promotion based on seniority, familiarity, popularity or local ties. I am personally moved by this turn of events and believe Portsmouth citizens will benefit greatly from Michael’s achievement.
This story exemplifies my vision for the future of Portsmouth.
Joseph W. Robicheau
Portsmouth Town Council, President