Hagerstown finds itself looking for a new building commissioner for the second time in less than a year, and perhaps redefining the position.

Terry Ford has resigned to take a similar position with the Town of Centerville. Hagerstown had hired him last fall after searching several months to replace his predecessor. At that time, Ford had been the only applicant for the part-time job, which previously paid about $10,000 a year. Council raised the pay to about $14,000.

Hagerstown Town Council discussed Ford’s resignation during an executive session, closed to the public, after its March 18 special meeting, said Allan Bullock, council president.

Before hiring Ford, the council had made some changes to the job description. The building commissioner issues building permits and conducts site inspections for construction projects. The position also reviews land use proposals to be sure projects fit the town’s master plan and zoning laws.

During Ford’s tenure, he and the town Advisory Plan Commission had continued discussing changes. There has been talk of adding code enforcement to the job, Bullock said. That would mean the commissioner could issue citations and take enforcement action for unsightly properties, weed ordinance violations and similar situations. Presently, Hagerstown Police Department handles those matters.

Before hiring Ford, council had discussed contracting with Wayne County government for building commissioner services, Bullock said. At the time, the council wanted to maintain local control of the position, he said. The council is again “putting out feelers” to the county about contracting for services.

Discussions about the position will continue, Bullock said.

The council was to meet Monday, April 1, and often schedules a special meeting or a work session for later in the month. A second meeting in April had not been scheduled as of Thursday, March 28.

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A version of this article appeared in the April 3 2024 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Bob Hansen is a reporter for the Western Wayne News.