Sunday, January 6, 2013
By WILLIAM J. KEMBLE
TOWN OF ULSTER, N.Y. — Town Building Inspector Paul Andreassen has resigned, and the Town Board plans to review Building Department personnel to determine whether there were employees who undermined Andreassen’s efforts to bring order to the department.
“I don’t think anybody is really totally clear on what’s wrong with the Building Department,” Councilman John Morrow said during Thursday’s Town Board meeting.
“Paul is an extremely knowledgeable and good guy,” Morrow said. “He’s very bright, knows the code in and out, knows buildings in and out, and I think the bottom line is he was having some management problems, personnel-wise.”
Andreassen was not immediately available for comment.
Andreassen served as building inspector for 19 months. The board accepted his resignation, dated Dec. 27, during Thursday’s meeting.
Supervisor James Quigley was absent from the meeting, and Councilwoman Cris Hendrick abstained from the vote to accept the resignation.
Andreassen was hired in May 2011 at a salary of at $55,000 per year after the position had been filled on an interim basis by town Assessor James Maloney.
Maloney was reappointed to the post last week until another full-timer can be found.
Quigley was not available for comment Friday, but he said in the past that problems in the department led to appointing Maloney.
“We had an incident (in 2010) where we had a building permit issued (and) subsequently had to shut the job down because the job should have gone before the Planning Board,” Quigley said previously.
“We had miscalculated building fees, we’ve had permits get through that should have been put before the Planning Board,” Quigley said at the time. “I requested the state come in and do a review of our department. They came in and wrote up a report. I wasn’t happy with the report because I didn’t think it went far enough.”
Hendrick said her abstention from Thursday’s vote was based on a respect for Andreassen’s knowledge of building codes and the need to review personnel actions.
“We’re fortunate to have him,” she said. “So for him to be so frustrated, I think we should look at the department. ... We’ve had problems there for a long time, we’ve gone through a lot of building inspectors, and things haven’t been corrected, so we haven’t done our due diligence in being proactive to help him.”