|Post your comments in Town Square: www.almanacnews.com
Atherton tapped its senior building inspector -- Mike Wasmann -- to head the town’s building department, City Manager Jim Robinson said today. The post has been open since former building official Mike Hood retired in June.
Mr. Wasmann, 57, starts the new job Monday and will be paid $115,200 a year plus a monthly auto allowance.
It’s been a tumultuous year for the building department. Following Mr. Hood’s abrupt departure June 30, the department’s practices have been scrutinized in three internal audits, a longtime staffer has been reassigned, and it was revealed that a private investigator’s report was commissioned by the city manager.
Recently, members of the San Mateo County Civil Grand Jury have been making inquiries into the department, and the town is facing potential litigation over a short-lived excavation surcharge on construction.
“I felt [Mr. Wasmann]was well qualified and well-respected in the community, and has an excellent reputation with those who have done business with the Building Department," Mr. Robinson said.
Mr. Wasmann has been with Atherton’s small but busy building department for about 10 years, and also serves as a plan-checker.
Mike Culley, a consultant who has been serving as the interim building official, will now take over Mr. Wasmann’s job on an interim basis while a search is conducted for a new senior building inspector, Mr. Robinson said.
Mr. Wasmann was interviewed along with a number of other qualified candidates, Mr. Robinson said. He accepted the offer of the building department’s top job Wednesday evening, Jan. 31.
In recent months, a number of procedural reforms have been instituted and a new, much more sophisticated permit-tracking software system is slated to replace the building department's inadequate and antiquated system. The Atherton City Council recently approved a review of the town's zoning codes to clean up confusing or outdated regulations.
The town's small building department does a huge amount of business – it brings in about $2 million annually in fees -- as the pace of additions, remodels and rebuilds remains brisk.
Post your comments in Town Square: www.almanacnews.com
Are you receiving Express, our free daily e-mail edition? See a sample and sign-up for Express.