SHARON – Several retirements have left the city of Sharon short-handed and searching for assistance.
Bob Fiscus, Sharon’s city manager and fire chief, asked that Sharon residents show patience while the city tries to fill the positions.
“We’re seeing the challenges as a municipality the entire region’s seeing,” Fiscus said. “I think the job market is very competitive right now.”
The city is first and foremost looking for a full-time rental compliance specialist to oversee rental inspections.
With a list of 2,500 rental properties in the city, the rental compliance specialist would make sure landlords are getting their rental licenses and following city ordinances in addition to overseeing rental inspections.
“We’ve had the rental compliance specialist position advertised and posted for almost six weeks and have had minimal response,” Fiscus said.
Initially, it was posted as a full-time position with benefits and a municipal pension plan. It is currently listed as part-time, but is ideally a full-time position, Fiscus said.
Fiscus said the city has fallen way behind in inspecting rental properties. In 2020, the city was only able to complete 400 rental inspections, and only 100 passed. Every two years, a rental property should be inspected. Inspections were also suspended during the pandemic.
“I think in some cases, landlords are less willing to comply with ordinances,” Fiscus said. “The rental compliance specialist’s job is to make sure we’re getting caught up.”
Right now, rental inspections are being outsourced, and there has been difficulty getting inspections scheduled.
Other than the rental inspections, the city has a lot of positions they need to fill.
“It’s tougher than ever,” Fiscus said.
They are seeking two full-time police officers due to retirements and a heavy-equipment operator.
In addition, the street department is short-handed, which is where Fiscus said he needs the public’s patience.
“At some point it’s going to snow but there’s only so many hours a day you can spend in a plow truck.” Fiscus said. “This is one of the areas we ask for patience from citizens and people we serve.”
Also the city’s fire chief, Fiscus had good news. Two firefighter positions were filled and promotions were awarded to long-time firefighters.
Firefighters Nick Samson and Kevin McMahon were promoted to captain and Darryl Torrence and Bill Stigliano promoted to lieutenant.
Although that’s good news for the fire department, Fiscus is still worried about the rest of the city as its city manager.
“Until we get to the current staffing levels, it’s going to be challenging,” Fiscus said. “We’re going to have to ask for patience and understanding.”
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