Adams out as building commissioner

Abington has parted ways with Building Commissioner Marshall Adams. 

Board of Selectmen Chairman Kevin DiMarzio confirmed to Abington News Thursday night that Town Manager Scott Lambiase and Adams had reached a severance deal effective immediately. Adams was named Building Inspector in July 2012.   

“Marshall and the Town of Abington have mutually agreed to end [his] employment as the building commissioner,” DiMarzio said. 

The personnel move, however, isn’t related to questions and concerns regarding his department’s handling of multiple problematic commercial properties in town. Instead, Adams’ removal was based on multiple administrative and managerial issues, according to multiple sources within town hall who asked for anonymity in order to discuss personnel issues. 

One official said Adams had been the subject of multiple complaints from homeowners, builders, and town hall employees over a number of years. It is not known if Adams had faced any previous disciplinary action prior to his recent removal. Adams was not able to be reached immediately for comment. 

DiMarzio said Lambiase has temporarily taken over day-to-day management of the Building Department, which includes the building inspector, the zoning enforcement officer, plumbing and wiring inspectors, and two office administrators. Lambiase is a licensed building inspector and is the former Building Commissioner for the Town of Duxbury. 

DiMarzio also said he expects the Board of Selectmen to discuss Adams’ departure and the future of the building department at its next meeting on Monday, June 14. 

“I think improvements could be made and would like to see a very open and healthy discussion on the building department moving forward,” he said.

The Building Department has been caught in the center of multiple public complaints in recent months regarding problems with commercial properties. The Board of Selectmen ordered an investigation into 267 North Quincy Street after hearing from residents concerned about the growing number of businesses on the site. A man was killed on the property in a workplace-related accident days later. Fire Chief John Nuttall, who has been leading that investigative effort, told selectmen two weeks ago that the property owner has effectively stopped cooperating in efforts to resolve outstanding code violations. 

Adams specifically came under fire during a Planning Board review of site plans involving 667 Adams Street. The Building Department last year issued multiple cease-and-desist orders to the owner of the property after he leveled a hill and started illegally operating a trucking company in the backyard of a residential home without securing any town permits. During the board’s May 3 meeting, neighbors got Adams to acknowledge that he had signed a permit allowing the business owner to erect a 10-foot fence while the cease-and-desist order was in effect.  

Two weeks ago, abutters to a commercial property on Hjelm Street said their complaints to Adams and the Building Department had gone unheeded while the property’s owner – who is the chairman of the Conservation Commission – brought in truck loads of fill, and failed to secure zoning board approval before using a residential property to store boats and other vehicles. In emails to the abutters, Adams said that the property met all Abington zoning rules.  

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