By Beth David, Editor
The Acushnet Selectboard approved an $18,000 wage increase for long time Building Inspector Jim Marot, which has raised some eyebrows as the word is slowly making its way around town.
Mr. Marot confirmed to the Neighb News that he received the raise, and Town Administrator Brian Noble was unabashed in his support for the raise, and in his praise for Mr. Marot.
Mr. Noble said he got wind of a written offer that the town of Mattapoisett made to Mr. Marot offering him the Building Inspector job there at $20,000 more per year.
“I can’t lose him. He’s too valuable,” said Mr. Noble, who then ticked off a list of Mr. Marot’s strengths and accomplishments.
Mr. Marot is actually doing two jobs, said Mr. Noble, Building Inspector and facilities management. He said Mr. Marot saved the town an enormous amount of money on the Parting Ways Building project.
“Just look at the Green Communities Act money he’s brought in,” said Mr. Noble. “And the energy savings he turns in every year.”
He said year after year, when they think the savings cannot get any better, Mr. Marot squeezes out a few more savings.
“The way I look at it, we finally paid him properly for the job he was doing,” said Mr. Noble, insisting it was just a matter of time before he got poached by another town. “And our loss would be somebody else’s tremendous gain.”
The town of Acushnet has almost completed a Wage & Classification study that found many jobs in Acushnet town government are not paying competitive wages. He said the Building Inspector job was off by at least $20,000 and it was only for one job. Mr. Marot, he said, is doing two jobs. He could easily get a job as a project manager in the private sector making a lot more money.
Mr. Noble also said that it is clear from other towns that the Building Inspector position is getting more and more difficult to fill because of the numerous certifications and testing required to qualify.
“Hardly anyone wants to do that anymore,” he said and then work for government which pays so much less than private construction.
“He goes to the nth degree to make sure our money is not wasted,” said Mr. Noble. “He treats it as his own, and it’s hard to find people who do that.”
Rumor around town is that the vote at the Selectboard meeting was not unanimous, and the Neighb News could not get on-the-record confirmation of that. The matter was handled in executive session and those minutes will not be released until the next Selectboard meeting on 12/11, at the earliest.
Mr. Marot told the Neighb News he did not actively look for a new job or a raise. He was, however, helping out Fairhaven after hours, while Fairhaven was looking for a new Building Inspector.
“My theory is you never want to wait,” said Mr. Noble. “If someone goes looking for a new job, he’s going to find it. You want to keep your good people.”
Mr. Marot has a wage agreement with the town, not a contract, that is renewed annually. The matter did not have to be approved by the Finance Committee.
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