Signal replaces building inspector

Signal replaces building inspector

July 27th, 2011 by Jennifer Bardoner in Local Regional News

New Signal Mountain building inspector Chuck Martin's list of certifications is what got him the job. Former building inspector Chuck Gearhiser's lack of required certifications lost him the job May 13.

"This is a liability for the town," Town Manager Honna Rogers wrote in an official termination report obtained through a records request by Signal Mountain Weekly Community News. "During our discussions I have learned that you are unable to conduct any inspections for the foreseeable future and cannot fulfill the duties of your job description."

Gearhiser, who had worked for the town for about five years, let his building inspection certification lapse March 31 unbeknownst at the time to Rogers. He kept conducting inspections until it "came to [her] attention" May 12.

"You are required by [Tennessee Code Annotated] 68-120-113 to be certified by the State Fire Marshal to legally enforce the applicable building and fire codes adopted by the town," Rogers wrote. "I have previously informed you about your need to obtain certification as a plumbing and mechanical codes inspector which is now required by T.C.A. 68-120-118. You are required to hold residential and commercial electrical licenses and have been unable to meet the certification requirements for such inspections which are currently imposed by the State Fire Marshal."

Martin, who has worked for several other municipalities, is a certified building inspector and has had training in stormwater inspection. His most recent position was as the codes enforcement officer for the city of Red Bank. Martin's annual salary in his new position is $38,168. When Gearhiser left he was making $46,571 a year.

"When [Martin] was at Red Bank he was only the codes enforcement officer," said Rogers. "This position does three jobs. He'll be the building official, codes enforcement officer and stormwater technician."

That Martin will serve so many functions in his new position provides added benefit, both in productivity and value, Rogers said, and should save him from the fate that befell him when Red Bank recently nixed his position out of its budget.

His presence also saves the town money since such services would otherwise have to be contracted out and doing so would mean the town could not collect the associated fees.