The hiring of a new fleet manager for the City of Manchester, N.H., was a point of conflict for elected officials at a recent meeting, reported the Manchester Ink Link.

The city’s mayor named Jonathan Hopkins, a retired police captain, to take on the role of central fleet manager. During the Board of Mayor & Alderman committee to confirm the hiring, several aldermen questioned the optics of the hiring – Hopkins’ brother-in-law is a law partner with the mayor’s husband, and worked on the mayor’s campaign.

Aldermen voiced concerns about the nominee’s qualifications because he did not have experience as a mechanic, arguing for promotion from within the department instead, and the starting salary of $90,000, which one alderman noted should be $78,000 for a new fleet manager. According to a 2017 study by Government Fleet, the average salary nationwide for a fleet manager is $93,660.

Despite the concerns, the nomination was approved by a vote of 8 to 5.

Hopkins previously worked for the Manchester Police Department for 31 years, reported the Union Leader. As administrative captain, he oversaw the department's 80-vehicle fleet, supervised 319 employees, and was responsible for the department's facilities, training, communications, and IT. Hopkins will replace Kevin O'Maley, the current fleet director, when he retires.

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