BERLIN – Berlin is still waiting for a new planning superintendent, seven months after previous superintendent Stacey Weisner vacated the post last summer.
The town’s planning department also lost the code enforcement officer in October and that position has also sat empty.
The only people working out of the tiny brick building behind Berlin Town Hall that houses the planning and zoning department are permit coordinator Carolyn Duffy and consultant Tim Bourcier, in office part-time.
“That department is pretty sad, other than Tim, and we’re paying a pretty penny for him,” said council member Paula Lynch Monday.
Town Administrator Linda Bambary said, “I think it’s been a good thing the housing market cooled so they don’t have as much to handle.”
Bourcier has undertaken higher-level functions, like site plan review, that are normally the responsibility of the planning superintendent. After this week, he will not be in the town planning office, Bambary said, but will be on-call.
Bambary said the cost of Bourcier’s services and the cost of a full-time planning superintendent are about the same.
Code violations have been handled by complaint, since code enforcement officer Amy Green resigned last fall. When the town receives a complaint, a member of staff takes a look at the situation and sends out a violation letter if warranted.
“Everyone’s sharing the workload,” said Bambary.
Matters may move forward soon, although Lynch suggested re-advertising both the superintendent’s job, posting the opening for a third time and the code enforcement slot.
“It might not hurt,” said Bambary.
This week, town staffers are setting up interviews with candidates for the superintendent job. “We have five to interview probably within the next two weeks,” said Bambary.
Most of those candidates, however, are from out of state, and the town has been hoping for an in-state candidate familiar with Maryland law.
Bambary had hoped to leave the code enforcement post vacant until after the superintendent slot was filled, but summer draws near and the code enforcement officer is needed most in the warm season due to grass-cutting violations.
Originally, the town planned to hire a new superintendent after the winter holidays.
“I hope we can do something soon, sooner rather than later,” said Berlin Mayor Tom Cardinale.