Prospect hires land use inspector

PROSPECT — After a long delay, Mary Barton will begin her job as the town’s new land use inspector next week.

The Planning and Zoning Commission voted to appoint Baron as land use inspector on Aug. 30. However, the town did not officially hire her until the end of October.

Mayor Robert Chatfield said Barton is expected to begin her position on Nov. 13 with a starting salary of $53,500. Barton will receive a raise after 90 days and another increase in pay after she obtains her zoning and wetlands enforcement certifications, Chatfield said.

Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman E. Gil Graveline said Barton attended the commission’s Nov. 1 meeting and was able to answer a few questions from commissioners about topics they were discussing.

“She seemed to go right along with everything at the meeting,” Graveline said. “It’s great to see somebody there.”

Although Barton does not have a history with the town, Graveline said getting up to speed won’t be that difficult. Barton has been coming to Town Hall to familiarize herself with the town’s regulations, he said.

“She just has to read up on what’s been going on and catch up on what’s happening in Prospect,” Graveline said.

Shortly after the commission appointed her, attorney M. Leonard Caine, III, sent a letter on behalf of Barton, stating that the Planning and Zoning Commission has sole power to appoint the zoning enforcement officer, and that she has been appointed and has received no compensation for the position she holds.

Chatfield previously told the Republican-American there was a delay in the hiring process because he had to interview Barton as the town’s human resources director, then ask the Town Council to set a salary range.

Barton worked as the land use official in Watertown for 10 years. After leaving Watertown in 2006 to spend more time with her two children, Barton worked part-time for both Roxbury and Thomaston.

In 2011, Barton said she left Woodbury’s land use office after nine months on the job citing serious health issues, but continued working part-time in Roxbury.

At the time, the town was investigating Barton’s certifications. Her resume listed her as a “Certified Zoning Enforcement Officer” and a “Certified Wetland Enforcement Officer,” but neither the Connecticut Association of Zoning Enforcement Officials nor the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection could verify that she completed the certification process.

Barton said she completed all her course work for both certifications but lost the documentation.

DEEP spokesman Dennis Schain said at the time Barton had not completed all three segments of coursework needed to earn the agency’s certification.

Barton could not be reached for comment. A message left with Caine seeking comment wasn’t returned.

The Republican-American contributed to this article.