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Friday, July 19, 2013

New Health Inspector, Clerks Boost Customer Service at ISD

In a move to provide enhanced customer service, City of Somerville Inspectional Services is introducing several new improvements this month that should benefit residents, businesses and contractors alike. New Inspectional Services office hours were introduced on July 1 that align better with both contractors’ work schedules and resident needs, and a new permitting process will make it easier to submit applications for permits and receive approval.

Three new positions, included in Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone’s fiscal 2014 budget proposal and approved by the Board of Aldermen in June, will also be added. They follow the recommendations of a 2010 report on Inspectional Services that cited the need for additional staff to handle the department’s increasing workload in order to create more efficiency and accuracy, in line with Mayor Curtatone’s ACE (Accurate, Courteous, Easy) customer service initiative. A new code enforcement inspector and two new junior clerks will be hired to bring better customer service and higher efficiency in tackling quality of life issues throughout the city’s neighborhoods.

Adding two new clerks to the Inspectional Services office means additional customer service assistance and more efficient internal processing operations. They will also provide the necessary administrative support for increases in City permits, licenses, and inspections, and more efficient data and project file management.

The code enforcement inspector will address rodent control and public sanitation issues by implementing a systematic program for Board of Health dumpster licensing and inspections citywide. The inspector’s duties will include inspections, code enforcement and tracking of all licensed dumpsters in the City, additional support for Inspectional Services’ housing and food inspection programs, and assistance on special Health projects as determined by the Superintendent.

The 2010 Inspectional Services report requested by the Mayor’s Office also cited a streamlined permitting process as another necessary step to increase Inspectional Services’ efficiency. Along with the three new positions, Inspectional Services is implementing a new permitting process that is easier to use and more efficient under new Superintendent of Inspectional Services Goran Smiljic, who has a background in streamlining the permitting process for contractors and residents.

“Inspectional services are paramount to protecting our neighborhoods and quality of life. We need to stay nimble in responding to issues as they arise, resolving problems as quickly as possible,” Mayor Curtatone said. “These new clerks and inspector give us the tools we need to respond promptly and decisively to issues around the city. Streamlining the permitting process benefits homeowners looking to invest in their homes because they want to stay in Somerville, and developers looking to invest in our city because they know Somerville is a great investment.”

Effective July 1, 2013, the Inspectional Services’ office has new hours of operation that better align with contractors’ work schedules as well as homeowners. The office is open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to noon.

“As our community continues to grow, Inspectional Services also faces a growing workload. These reforms will improve customer service for everyone who comes to our office,” Smiljic said. “We will work harder and smarter in responding to the community, protecting our quality of life in every neighborhood, in every square, and addressing issues around trash, overgrowth, rodents and dumpsters as they arise.”

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great!

Anonymous said...

This is good news! I hope the hiring of the Code Enforcer is expedited considering the infestation issues all across the city.

Anonymous said...

What was ISD's office hours before the July 1st change?

Quite frankly, other than their being open till 7:00 PM on Thursdays I dont see where their "new" daily hours create any additional benefit for those persons needing their services.

Hiring a new "Code Enforcer"-????
Isn't it the duty of all inspectors to enforce City Codes?

Anonymous said...

ISD Friday half-day hours puts them (almost) in line with City Hall hours; that is, for those people who show up for work on Fridays.

City Hall offices close at 12:30 PM. open at 8:30 AM.

Friday no-shows is nothing new with city administrative staff; more so when city went to half-days.

Anonymous said...

These hours feature an 8am start time, but would be better if they were 7am.

Anonymous said...

Re rodents (rats)----
Its not "as they arise"----they HAVE ARISEN!

East Somerville, the problem is ongoing.

In Ward 5 sightings between Magoun Square and Highland Avenue--most notably streets north and south of Maxwell's Green. Nashua, Wilton, Hudson, Albion, Alpine, Princeton.