Township officials trimming applicants for zoning inspector


Jerome Township officials are in the process of replacing the official in charge of growth in the township.

Last month, former zoning inspector Mark Spagnuolo resigned abruptly.

Township Director of Departments Doug Stewart said the township received 20 resumes for the position before Friday’s close of the application period.

“We have selected several applicants to get more information from” Stewart said, noting he believes there are nine applicants in that process.

He explained the hiring process began even before the deadline.

“We sorted the applicants through the process so we didn’t have so many to go through all at one time,” Stewart said.

He said the trustees are “pleased” with the response. He said that like any hiring process, some of the applicants are unqualified, some are qualified with potential and others are highly qualified.

“We have several that are very qualified,” Stewart said. “We believe there are five, or even more, in the group that could really move us further ahead than we have ever been with our zoning officers in the past.”

Stewart said that in the past the township has had two positions — the zoning clerk and the zoning inspector. He explained that while they were to be separate positions, the township’s zoning official was essentially performing both duties.

“We just combined those two job descriptions into one position and we are calling it the zoning coordinator and inspector,” Stewart said.

The trustees will meet Thursday to share their thoughts and likely narrow the group, “to five or so finalists” Stewart said. He said the trustees do not have a specific number of finalists they want to interview.

The trustees are planning “at least one round of interviews and probably two.”

“We want to find the best qualified candidate, the best fit for Jerome Township,” Stewart said.

When the list has been narrowed to two or three, the township will background check and drug test the candidates.

The trustees have advertised the position as paying $50,000 annually, plus benefits.

Officials have said they are hoping to have someone in place by late September or early October.

“All of the trustees want to get the position filled as soon as possible,” Stewart said. “We are growing and there is a lot of work to do.”

Stewart said the township continues to receive several zoning applications each week. Until the new person is hired, Stewart and Gary Smith, who served as zoning inspector before Spagnuolo, are handling the applications.

“We have a process where we are streamlining things and making sure we are dotting the ‘I’s and crossing the ‘T’s,” Stewart said.

He said applications are being processed more efficiently now than when Spagnuolo was in place.

“We are back to addressing the needs of the community, serving the community and addressing the economic development needs of the community,” Stewart said. “That’s what the trustees expect and that’s what we are here for.”

Stewart said it is important that the hiring process is handled correctly and that zoning is handled correctly in the meantime.

“Everything is geared toward planning for the future, especially with the growth we are having and that we see coming,” Stewart said. “I don’t know what the future holds, but we want to make sure we are putting ourselves in the best position for whatever happens.”

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