February 1, 2023

Top Candidate Declines Essex Zoning Enforcement Position

ESSEX–The recommended candidate for the zoning enforcement officer position has declined a job offer from the town, leading officials to repost a position that has been vacant since early May.

At a special meeting Monday, the board of selectmen offered the job to Robert Flanagan, a Thomaston resident who currently works as zoning enforcement officer and other land use positions in the town of Redding. Flanagan, one of about a dozen applicants for the position, had been recommended by a selection committee that included members of the zoning and inland-wetlands commissions and Selectman Joel Marzi.

Flanagan told the selectmen Monday that he would not mind the commute from his hometown, located just north of Waterbury, and was interested in working in Essex. The job offer for the 30-hours per week position, which also has duties as inland-wetlands enforcement officer, included an annual salary of $52,852 and other benefits provided to town employees.

But Flanagan contacted Maria Lucarelli, administrative assistant to the board of selectmen, Thursday to report that he would not accept the job offer. Lucarelli said the town would probably repost the position, including another round of interviews by the selection committee, before a new finalist is recommended to the selectmen.

The new ZEO would replace Marian Staye, a Deep River resident who had held the job for nearly eight years. Staye has continued to work one day per week as the zoning enforcement officer, and is expected to continue in the capacity while the search for a replacement continues.