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Bettencourt Looks for New City Building Commissioner

Chief zoning and building official Goggin let go from job as mayor seeks to create more business friendly environment.

Mayor Ted Bettencourt confirmed Wednesday he's let go yet another top city official in his quest to improve services to the community, make local government more efficient and assemble his own team of close advisors and department heads.

This time it was Building Commissioner Kevin Goggin who was let go.

Human Resources Director Heidi Henson resigned last month and soon after Bettencourt entered office he appointed a , hired a chief of staff and brought Jean Carnevale in as the new city treasurer.

Bettencourt also made a couple other key promotions, but those were mainly due to retirements, and replaced a few staff members at .

"I want to make sure this city is business friendly and resident friendly and I thought that change was needed in that department," he said Wednesday.

He added that he "felt [he] needed to bring in [his] own person" for the job, which serves to enforce local zoning and building codes and deal with all manner of complaints, a myriad of safety issues and financial institutions to ensure proper upkeep of foreclosed homes, for instance.

Bettencourt said the position has not been publicly advertised yet, but will be, and in the interim he has promoted Plumbing and Gas Inspector Arthur Pavlo, the senior employee in the department, as Acting Commissioner.

Bettencourt talked about following through on his mission to improve relations with businesses and residents -- something he campaigned on last year -- and said there are a number of city departments, in fact, that need to "improve on their customer service," as it were.

At the same time, he did not direct any specific criticism at Goggin nor his job performance.

Bettencourt said he's also looking at restructuring the way the Inspectional Services Department operates, in particular possibly making it completely separate from the Community Development Department, which it exists under now.

He said the goal is to improve efficiency and the overall level of services provided. He's not considering any additional staff changes beyond hiring a new Building Commissioner.

Goggin, a Peabody resident, was appointed to head up Inspectional Services in 2007 following the retirement of Ralph Gandolfo. He was an assistant building inspector prior to his promotion by former Mayor Michael Bonfanti. Goggin previously served as the Building Inspector in Swampscott and worked for the building department in Salem as well.

Saber Walsh September 06, 2012 at 10:33 AM
Every mayor gets their chance to clean house. I like this mayor (except he recently blundered by supporting our useless congressman -- shame on him). Just seems that almost every appointed position has been let go in favor of a new appointee -- don't know if that's good or bad, it just is.
Firefly September 06, 2012 at 03:46 PM
The problem here was the you never got the same answer twice.
Firefly September 06, 2012 at 03:48 PM
You would speak with the department one day, were told to do things, you would do them and were told no good, need to do it this way. I could give examples if need be. I have several run ins with the department over variance requirements and the like.
Al Regan December 21, 2012 at 06:03 PM
I used to dread the building inspector's office. I think they thought if you were a homeowner and not a contractor, you were an idiot. I would ask them questions like what should I do in a certain situation and they would say " ask your plumber, electrician...whatever. Very disrespectful, and considering that they need to sign off on the job and NOT the plumber. ANYWAY, I just went down there today and they actually answered my questions, no talking down or disrespect. I would say the Mayor made a good move.

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