WELLFLEET — Justin Post finished his last day as Wellfleet’s building inspector on Friday, Aug. 28.
He will take over as Eastham’s building inspector on Sept. 15 after three years working in the same job in Wellfleet.
Hired in 2017, Post was Chatham’s building commissioner for four years before that.
Turnover among town building inspectors is prevalent on the Cape, according to Russell Braun, who served as the building commissioner in Provincetown from 2007 to 2014 and as building inspector for Truro from 2014 to 2018.
“The building officials are typically not a real popular thing,” he said. “We are enforcers. Even though we try to help people out, typically we are viewed as people you don’t want to deal with. Any town employee that has to deal with regulations or town managers or whatever, they can only last a certain amount of time.”
Building inspectors are in charge of keeping track of all construction projects in town, including building permits, coordination with other town departments, and building code enforcement.
Eastham offered Post the job about a month ago, following the June retirement of Tom Wingard, who had held the position since 2013, according to Eastham Town Administrator Jacqui Beebe.
Wingard was previously the Truro building inspector for 10 years.
Post refused to speak to the Independent about his move.
Wellfleet home owner Clyde Rousseau has spoken to Post about the job over the past year. The two have worked together on Rousseau’s home renovations, and he said a higher salary was a significant part of Post’s decision.
“[Post] said Eastham was paying more money, and that they gave him a vehicle to use for his inspections,” Rousseau said.
Post was making about $79,000 a year in Wellfleet, based on the town’s annual report. He will be making about $85,000 in Eastham, according to Beebe. His salary in Chatham was about $77,000, according to the Cape Cod Chronicle.
Braun spoke to how money plays into the position’s frequent turnover. The building inspector position is not one that pays a lot, he explained, adding, “Cape Cod is not a cheap place to live.” What happens, he said, is that when one person leaves a position, “all of a sudden a game of musical chairs starts.”
Wellfleet Town Manager Maria Broadbent said the town will post the now vacant position by the end of the week and start fielding candidates.
Rousseau, though, is not a fan of the revolving door for building inspectors.
“It seems like there are a number of officials moving from one city to the next, so it just seems unethical in a way,” he said. “Post has institutional knowledge that is walking out the door with him. He has established relationships. He has projects that he is in the middle of.
“Eastham is lucky that they are getting him, but Wellfleet is losing out,” said Rousseau. “It’s too bad that they would let him walk.”