Supt. of Buildings, Board of Health and Airport commissioners reappointed

Superintendent of Buildings Carissa Lissee (WNG File Photo)

WESTFIELD – Superintendent of Buildings Carissa Lisee of Chicopee was unanimously reappointed to a three-year term by the Westfield City Council Thursday. She was recommended on a 3-0 vote by the Personnel Action Committee.
Lisee, who has served in the position since 2016, was previously employed by the City of Chicopee as the construction inspector, local building inspector and assistant building commissioner. She is certified as a building commissioner and building official.
At-large Councilor Cindy C. Harris cited Lisee’s accomplishments in her first three-year term, including increasing building permit fees, implementing an agreement with Southwick to share electrical inspection services and working with the Law Department to implement a policy and procedure plan for plumbing and gas and electric inspectors, in regards to utility turn-ons with the Westfield Gas & Electric, to provide consistency with the inspection process. She has also streamlined the outdated and inefficient permit system, Harris said.
Lisee also worked with Director of Facilities Bryan Forrette to maintain City Hall by upgrading the dry suppression system, refinishing hardwood floors, replacing carbon monoxide detectors and purchasing snow blowers. She implemented a new system to enter City Hall after hours, regulating access and security to the building.
Harris said future projects that Lisee would like to research include implementation of rental registration ordinances which Lisee said will allow the Building Department to perform more inspections, computerization of existing documents for easier access and historical records and implementation of online permitting to streamline and update the process.
At both the Personnel Action and City Council meetings, At-large Councilor John J. Beltrandi, III spoke in favor of the reappointment. Beltrandi said Lisee was the seventh building inspector he had dealt with in Westfield as a councilor and a contractor, and that under her leadership the department is more organized than it has ever been.
“Lisee is very good at code, by the book. By doing her job, she ruffles some feathers, but you want somebody to do this,” Beltrandi said, adding that there is a shortage of good building inspectors and that Lisee is responsive, returns phone calls and is a pleasure to deal with.
City Solicitor Susan Phillips also spoke at Personnel Action on Lisee’s behalf, saying that the building code used to be one-inch thick when she started in 1985, and now it is manuals. “We need building inspectors who are really knowledgeable in the code,” she said.
Also confirmed unanimously by the City Council on Thursday was the appointment of Margaret Doody of Granville Road as a member of the Board of Health until 2022 to replace Michael Paquette, who resigned from the board.
Harris said Doody recently retired from the city’s Health Department after 30 years and wanted to continue to help carry out its mission to ensure the public health and safety of the community. Harris said her understanding and knowledge of the department’s operations would be an asset to the Board.
Harris also said that due to the outbreak of measles in the neighboring state of New York, the city needed a fully staffed Board of Health to address the potentially epidemic disease. Harris said the city’s supervising Public Health Nurse Debra Mulvenna gave high praise to Doody, and cited her 30 experience during past outbreaks, including a swine flu epidemic in the schools and a meningitis outbreak in the middle school.
Doody served as a liaison between the public and the Health Department and attended all of the Board of Health monthly meetings, Harris said.
During the discussion of her appointment at the City Council meeting, At-large Councilor Matthew Emmershy said that the Board of Health has a nurse practitioner and doctor on it, and the resigning member was a pharmacist. He said while he couldn’t find any requirement for a medical degree, he had wondered whether the replacement should have a like degree.
Beltrandi said he has known Doody for many years, and she had spent a lot of time — 30 years — with the Health Department. “After 30 years, if she wants to come back for $700, let’s not look a gift horse in the mouth,” he said before the unanimous vote.
Also reappointed unanimously for a three-year term was Donald Nicoletti of Radisson Lane as a member of the Airport Commission.
Harris said Nicoletti has served on the commission since 2013, and previously served as a member and president of the Barnes Airport Support Group for a total of nine years. She said that Nicoletti is knowledgeable of the airport’s responsibilities and requirements, including its economic impact on the citizens of Westfield and on its tax base.
Nicoletti supports the improvements of Airport services and bringing in new tenants, which Harris said is of the utmost importance due to the financial and physical improvements underway at Westfield Barnes. “We are very fortunate as a city to have such a knowledgeable citizen helping us in this capacity,” Harris said.

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