Abrupt Change At Top For Embattled Fire Department

The Blue Hills Fire Commission has been the subject of reports by NBC Connecticut Investigates

NBC Connecticut

In a vote that took just a matter of minutes, the chairman of the Blue Hills Fire Commission was replaced by one of her fellow Commissioners to start the new year.

Ariel Marzouca Jaunai, who chaired the commission for roughly the past two years, was ousted in a 2-1 vote. 

Fellow commissioner Jacqueline Massey Greene will assume the chairman’s role.

She and fellow commissioner Mark Manson told NBC Connecticut Investigates a lack of communication from Marzouca Jaunai on personnel decisions, financial matters, and setting the monthly meeting agenda precipitated the change.

Ariel Marzouca Jaunai (third from left)

After the vote to oust her, Marzouca Jaunai made a motion to restore herself as chair, but it failed.

Both prior, and subsequent to Marzouca Jaunai’s tenure as commission chair, NBC Connecticut Investigates filed a series of reports about thousands of dollars in commissioner stipends and bonuses, along with questions about commissioners’ gas allowances and credit card usage.

Under Marzouca Jaunai’s leadership, commissioners did eliminate their performance and holiday bonuses, got rid of their gas allowances, and reduced the commissioners’ credit card allocation to just one credit card for all three of them.

Also during her tenure, Marzouca Jaunai received mixed reviews for spurring the removal of full-time Chief Robert Farmer and replacing him with a part-time chief.

She also received criticism from fire district taxpayers for the salary increases and benefits given to the department’s longtime director of finance and administration.

Marzouca Jaunai would not comment on the vote that ousted her as chair but told NBC Connecticut Investigates, “I love my district and I will continue to serve my community and do my duties as a fire commissioner.”

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