Canton council approves interim code officer

Canton Municipal Building. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

CANTON — With a personnel gap in the town’s code enforcement office, Town Council has approved the interim appointment of a code officer until the new hire arrives mid-month.

During a special meeting Wednesday night, Supervisor Mary Ann Ashley brought forward a Professional Services Agreement to hire Russell B. Lawrence IV on a part-time basis up to 10 hours a week, at $50 an hour with mileage reimbursement.

Councilors unanimously voted to approve the appointment of Mr. Lawrence, who previously worked as Canton’s full-time code enforcement officer from 2008 until 2017. He’ll take on code enforcement duties through April 12, “so there will be no break in service,” Ms. Ashley said.

Last week, the town provisionally appointed Miranda Y. Corbine to the code enforcement officer position vacated by Jeffrey K. Murray in January. Mr. Murray resigned from the full-time post to head the town of Potsdam’s code enforcement office, and was subsequently appointed to a part-time position in Canton to assist with the office’s transition. Mr. Murray officially resigned from the part-time role as of March 25, according to Ms. Ashley.

Mr. Murray served both the town and village in the jointly-funded role, but moving forward with Ms. Corbine, services will be designated for the town. The village is exploring its own options for code enforcement, and its code compliance technician, Timothy J. Nolan, continues to work in the code office on a part-time basis.

As a provisional appointee through the state Department of Civil Service, Ms. Corbine will need to pass a civil service exam and score within the top three spots in her round of testing to be permanently appointed.

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(1) comment


Expected to hear some feedback on Canton's decision to reimport a resident to grab that pretty good code officer salary. Sure smells like a form of favoritism, must be plenty of locals available without this dramatic coming home tale.

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