Holmes Beach fills building department vacancy

Holmes Beach added an electrical engineer to its building department — islander David Greene.

        The mayor and public works superintendent Joe Duennes hired Greene Oct. 23 for a wage of $22.35 per hour.

        Duennes said they had four responses to an advertisement for building inspector/plans examiner, and he interviewed two candidates.

        “This guy is pretty impressive,” said Duennes, adding he was available immediately. “We were down a man.”

        Greene lives in Holmes Beach with his two children, and comes from Forney Engineering of Bradenton, where he’d worked since 2007. Wife Jocelyn is a graphic designer.

        He previously worked in the construction industry in Salt Lake City, with owners, contractors and design engineers.

        Greene grew up in Charlotte, N.C., attended the University of North Carolina and earned a bachelor’s of science degree in electrical engineering in 1991.

        Greene said he’s inspected buildings for about 20 years and is in the process of applying for his plans examiner license.

        “There’s a lot to do with over 1,000 permits,” he said. “It’s a lot of work, and I want to live up to everyone’s expectations.”

        Former building inspector Bob Shaffer was fired last month after 10 years with the city, and inspections to more than 900 permits yearly.

        Mayor Rich Bohnenberger introduced Greene to city commissioners at their Oct. 23 meeting.

        The nine-year resident of Holmes Beach said he was “very familiar with the local situation and everything that’s going on right now.”

        Later in the meeting, Commissioner Jean Peelen said while she believed Greene may be a great hire, she was startled to hear it happened without any notice.

        She’d like to have seen more transparency in the hiring process, including the criteria the department was looking for and the interviews, because the city is “not in the normal situation,” due to the Shaffer’s dismissal, Peelen said.

        Bohnenberger said he followed the charter that authorizes the mayor’s personnel decisions.

        Commissioner Sandy Haas-Martens said as long as she’d been an official, staff has been hired by the mayor.

        Commission Chair David Zaccagnino said he would’ve liked more information because Greene was “a huge hire,” but that the mayor came through with an excellent decision. It is the commission’s job to set policy, not make hiring decisions, he added.

        Commissioner John Monetti said commissioners provide “philosophical influence,” not micromanage city departments.

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