Groff named new chief

GLOVERSVILLE – Current Battalion Chief Tom Groff will be the city’s new fire chief.

Mayor Dayton King announced Thursday that Groff will take over the position that has been vacant since former Fire Chief Beth Whitman-Putnam retired after 27 years of service.

“[Groff] is natural leader and someone who has been a fantastic Battalion Chief,” King said in a news release. “[Groff) understands the fiscal strains on our city and has vowed to work within the budget and provide adequate fire protection that our city requires.”

King said Groff has previously owned and managed successful businesses and has extensive fire training and experience including being the fire chief for the Northville Volunteer Fire Department.

“[Groff] has assured the common council that he will work hard to look for ways to bring revenue into the department and the city and also look for ways to be more efficient,” King said in the release.

Second Ward Councilman Arthur Simonds said that the decision to appoint Groff was made during a meeting last week. He said the contract with Groff has been resolved.

“It’s an excellent choice and he’ll do a great job,” Simonds said.

Simonds said he believed Groff’s salary would be the same as Whitman-Putnams. Whitman-Putnam had a salary of $87,000 when she retired in June.

King said that during the search for a new fire chief, he also spoke with Johnstown Chief Bruce Heberer and Mayor Michael Julius about the two cities having one fire chief.

“I believe this could be a good opportunity for both cities and [Groff] agrees. At this time, neither city was ready to implement this as there is more planning to make this work,” King said in the release. “It is my intention for Chief Heberer, Groff and both the Johnstown and Gloversville common councils to decide whether this is something we want to spend time on researching and implement or if we should just agree that it is not an option and stop discussing it.”

Groff is scheduled to be sworn in as the new fire chief at a special meeting of the Common Council on Thursday at 6 p.m. Groff’s first official day as chief will be on Sept. 1.