By Seth Daniel
Acting to fight off other departments and agencies from luring Chief Brian Kyes away from Chelsea, City Manager Tom Ambrosino and Chief Kyes announced that they have come to terms on a new five-year contract that will stretch out to 2022.
The new contract will call for the chief not to work details any longer, something that some on the City Council have not cared for, and will take effect on July 1. More importantly, Kyes said it guarantees that he will finish his career in his hometown of Chelsea.
“The City Manager has asked me to stay five more years – three years longer than my current employment contract – and I have agreed,” the chief said this week. “I was being recruited last fall and again this past month to apply for another area Police Department and the city manager agreed to give me a generous pay raise if I agreed to stay here in Chelsea, not apply for the other police chief’s position and continue to finish what I started over nine years ago in 2007 when I was first sworn in as Police Chief. At the end of the day, I truly love working here in Chelsea along with the local leadership – both official and unofficial – as well as the residents, business community and of course the incredibly hard working men and women of the CPD. It would be extremely difficult to leave and lead another agency. Therefore, Starting July 1, I will no longer work any police details, which my current contract allows, to supplement my earnings. My plan is to finish my career here in Chelsea after 35 to 37 years of service.”
Ambrosino said he felt it was important to lock down the chief for another five years, if not for the rest of his career.
“The reality is he’s very highly regarded and was being sought after by other locations and we really want to keep him in Chelsea,” said Ambrosino. “This secures that goal for at least another five years…I think he’s done a tremendous job and it would be a hit to the city for him to leave.”
Kyes had two years left on his current contract, which was secured in 2014 before City Manager Jay Ash left.
In exchange for more pay, the Chief has agreed not to work details any longer. Many chiefs are not permitted to work details, but previous Chelsea chief gained the blessing of the City Council years ago to allow that practice. It was continued in the contracts of Kyes, but will no longer be the case on July 1.
Ambrosino said he has heard from the Council and community that they didn’t like the “optics” of the chief working details.
“I’ve heard the Council and the community say they think the optics of the chief working a detail aren’t the best,” he said. “I told them if I had a good reason, I would try to work on that. We kept the chief and he agreed to add the detail pay to his bad pay and not work any more details.”
Kyes reiterated he was happy to be able to commit to the City and, if all goes as planned, finish off his noted career where he started more than 30 years ago.