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Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Former Potsdam code enforcement officer returns

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POTSDAM — John G. Hill has taken over as the interim village code enforcement officer after a unanimous vote by the Board of Trustees during a special meeting Monday morning.

Mr. Hill previously worked in the position from 2004 until his retirement in June 2011.

“They said they had trouble with the office and they asked me to come back,” Mr. Hill said.

The previous code enforcement officer, Timothy J. O’Brien, was fired for undisclosed reasons at the end of a 1-year probation period during a May 30 village board meeting.

Mr. Hill will fill in until someone else is found to take over. Code enforcement officers are responsible for making sure every construction project in the village, from a backyard deck to a multi-million-dollar building, aligns with state and local regulations.

Would-be officers must undergo a lengthy certification process. Mr. Hill is already certified through 2013.

Mayor Steven W. Yurgartis said he expects the search for a new permanent code enforcement officer to take four to eight weeks.

Whoever is chosen will have his work cut out for him, Mr. Hill said. The village usually issues about 200 building permits in the summer.

“Whoever comes in is going to have to have a lot of patience, especially if they have no experience,” he said.

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