Derby Could Reduce The Number Of Blight Inspectors

Derby’s building official wants to reorganize his department and layoff a blight inspector.

The city currently has two part-time blight inspectors supervised by building official Carlo Sarmiento.

Sarmiento wants to eliminate one blight position and hire a part-time clerk to help in the building department office. The part-time clerk would be paid $17.51 per hour.

Sarmiento said the reorganization is needed because there is only one part-time clerk in the office. That means if he’s out doing inspections, there are times during the day when there is no one in the building department to help the public.

He thinks the work done by two blight officers can still be done with one part-time blight officer. Any decision is up to the mayor, ultimately.

Sarmiento initially made his reorganization request while his budget was under review earlier this year by the Board of Apportionment and Taxation.

However, he was told to hold off and to run his plan by the Board of Aldermen, the city’s legislative body.

The reorganization came up again at the June 28 meeting of the Operations and Procedures Committee, a subcommittee of the Board of Aldermen.

There Sarmiento pointed out he previously lost his assistant building official to a budget cut, and that he thought his reorganization plan would better serve Derby taxpayers.

Alderwoman Barbara DeGennaro asked for Sarmiento to draft a written report explaining the reorganization. She said she had asked for that previously, but instead received a building department budget.

The subcommittee, who have the ability to make recommendations to the full Board of Aldermen, opted to table the matter.

Blight inspectors deal with Derby’s most problematic properties, such as ones that are abandoned or have fallen into disrepair. If property owners don’t address concerns, the owners can eventually face $100 a day fines.

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