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Select Board OK’s Hiring Internal Candidate For Building Inspector Vacancy

by Connie Sartini
Town Manager Mark Haddad advised the Select Board that Building Commissioner Ed Cataldo intends to retire in September 2020. Filling this position is a top priority, Haddad said, adding, “I want to be sure that we get the best possible candidate.”
     Watching vacancies in other neighboring towns Haddad noted that finding competent Building Commissioners is a difficult proposition.
     Haddad proposed that the Board consider adopting a training program for the important position, similar to the training program developed 10 years ago to replace the retiring Town Accountant, that “worked out great.” Essentially, this was an internal process after an internal posting.
     Haddad told the Board he would like to post the position internally and to consider appointing a current employee to the Building Commissioner in Training. To apply, an applicant would need to be certified as a local inspector. Haddad added that the town has two employees that would meet this requirement.
     The selected applicant, would then work with Building Commissioner Cataldo for six months and work towards being certified as a Building Commissioner during that period. Haddad added that he anticipated that the cost of the training program would be over $40,000 (six-months’ salary).
     Selectman Josh Degen stressed, “This is a very important job and we need a detailed-oriented Building Commissioner. This program assures that the person learns the position from an expert and we know who we are going to get.” He added that he supported the proposed training plan.
     Colleague Becky Pine said she wanted to advertise the position and “not close ourselves out.”
     Haddad replied that if the town advertised the position, “you would only get Certified Building inspectors. The Timing is the issue for the training.”
     Select Board member John Reilly said he liked the idea and the trainee would have more invested in the town. He asked what the cost for a delay would be. Haddad replied that it would be a lot less expensive, but it might also require the town to hire an interim Building Commissioner until a permanent one could be hired.
     Select Board member John Giger pointed out that in the past the turn over for Groton was very high. “Since Mark has been here, it happened only four times in 10 years.”
     Degen stressed that the town has the largest building project going on in the history of the town. “We need someone who knows about this,” to handle the size and scope.
     Following further discussion, the Select Board voted to authorize the interview and hiring of an internal candidate for the position of Building Commissioner/Zoning inspector, and that the $40,000 cost be spread over two fiscal years.
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