News From Terre Haute, Indiana

December 12, 2012

Outgoing commissioner hired for county job by fellow commissioners

Vote was 2-0 to make Mason building inspector

Howard Greninger
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Outgoing Vigo County Commissioner Paul Mason will have a new job in county government as building inspector, effective Jan. 1.

Mason was appointed in a 2-0 vote Tuesday from Commissioners Judith Anderson and Mike Ciolli. Mason was not present when his fellow commissioners voted on the vacancy.  

Anderson said commissioners left the application and review process up to David Reeves, 72, who retired as county building inspector last month, and Connie Flood, county director of human resources.

The position had 15 applications, including Mason, and four interviews were conducted, Anderson said. Mason was recommended for the position, Anderson said.

“We debated about it, as we know it will stir some controversy as he is a commissioner, but if he is qualified, I don’t feel any qualms about it,” Anderson said. “His experience in the county and city proved he was the most qualified.”

As a commissioner, Mason earns $48,836 in 2012. Commissioners in 2013 will earn $51,278. The county’s building inspector in 2013 will earn $31,434. That position also has a take-home county vehicle.

Mason, 64, was defeated in November for the District 3 seat by incoming Republican Brad Anderson. Judith Anderson said she and Ciolli contacted Brad Anderson on Tuesday to tell him of their decision to place Mason as building inspector.

“The difference will be that now I will work for the commissioners, they are my boss,” Mason said when contacted Tuesday.

“It is a little bit of a switch. I am thankful that I was considered for the position and will do the best I can,” Mason said.

Mason said he has building and safety experience. While working for Terre Haute City Fire Department from 1971 to 1992, Mason said he worked his days off on a framing crew to build homes. Mason served as fire chief from 1992 to 1995.

“I have also built four houses for myself. I would build a house, live in it, build another and then sell the previous house,” Mason said. “As far as safety construction, I was with the fire department, and fire safety is one thing you have to look for in new construction.”

The county building inspector department issues building permits for new construction and remodeling and inspects for heating, ventilation, air conditioning, electrical, plumbing and sanitation. The department also inspects new construction foundations and framing of a dwelling. The department also issues a certificate of occupancy.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or howard.greninger@trib