Village building inspector suspended indefinitely

Instability issues and inspector roulette continues to pervade the Village of Mamaroneck Building Department as Building Inspector Bill Gerety has been suspended indefinitely without pay and without public explanation after a year on the job.

Gerety, who was hired in April 2013, is the latest casualty in a department that has lacked a consistent head for some time. Village Manager Richard Slingerland declined to provide any details on Gerety’s suspension, saying only that Gerety was suspended indefinitely and the matter would go to a hearing “hopefully soon.”

Robert Hughes, an assistant building inspector in the village, has been appointed as interim building inspector. That, however, will only last until June 27, when Hughes leaves the village for a position in Pleasantville.

After that, the Building Department will operate under Fire Inspector William Ciraco and Brad Fallerman, both of whom were appointed assistant building inspector in April 2014, and Village Code Enforcer Charlotte Mountain.

Slingerland said the next interim inspector could be confirmed a day or two after press time.

The circulation of positions and people in the Building Department has led some to worry about whether or not the department can properly run.

“There’s something wrong in the village that they cannot run a stable Building Department,” Clark Neuringer, an architect and current member of the Harbor and Coastal Zone Management Commission, said. “The one thing you need to have stability and continuity in is a Building Department. This is how mistakes are made and we are left with controversial decisions and land use problems.”

Calling supervision and position makeup in the department “up in the air,” Slingerland was confident the building inspector’s responsibilities, including issuing all building permits and reviewing zoning compliance, would be appropriately covered until a permanent replacement for Gerety can be found.

“We’re making every possible means to make sure [the Building Department] appropriately functions,” Slingerland said.

Before Gerety was hired in April 2013, multiple people filled the building inspector position over the preceding few years.

In July 2011, then building inspector John Winter left the position and Assistant Building Inspector Robert Melillo filled the position until September 2012. Melillo was then reassigned back to assistant building inspector and replaced by interim building inspector Ron Carpaneto, who also serves as the Town of Mamaroneck’s building inspector. Gerety, a former building inspector in Harrison, then came on after meeting with the Board of Trustees and Slingerland, who hired him and cited him as the “most suitable candidate at the time.”

With the building inspector position changing four times in less than three years,
Neuringer has little confidence the department will be fully functional anytime soon.

“All the people want to know is if we still have a functional Building Department or if we are back to a circus-like atmosphere,” Neuringer said. “One of the biggest issues in the Village of Mamaroneck is land use and how people can use their property, and it all comes down to the building inspector.”

Calls to Mayor Norman Rosenblum were not returned as of press time.