READING – Though hoping for a deeper pool of candidates, Town Health Director Adetokunbo Solarin will interview a handful of applicants for the community’s vacant health inspector position.

During the Board of Health’s most recent virtual gathering, Solarin explained that after posting the job vacancy in the beginning of December, the community received just three resumes from interested parties.

According to Solarin, though unsure if any of the candidate’s is a good fit for the town, he does intend to proceed through the interview stage in light of the extremely tight labor market.

“The vacancy got posted on [Dec. 3] and as of today, we’ve had three applicants. The applicants aren’t my ideal candidates, but we’ll try to work with what we have,” said Solarin after being asked to provide an update on the hiring process.

In early October, Interim Health Director Peter Mirandi notified the Board of Health that former Health Agent Daniel Markman had unexpectedly tendered his resignation.

Markman was the second health agent to depart reading since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The departure of his predecessor, Health Agent Laura Vlasuk, at least partly influenced the community’s decision to bolster the department’s ranks with a supervising health director.

According to Solarin, his predecessor’s decision to hire private consultants to backfill the health agent’s inspection duties is thus far ensuring that food-service establishments and other businesses are not impacted by the job vacancy.

“Things are going according to plan, so we are good,” said Solarin, when asked by Board of Health Chair Dr. Richard Lopez how the private contractor arrangements are working out.

Advertising the job vacancy on Dec. 3, the town is offering the town’s next full-time health inspector a salary based upon an hourly rate of between $54,873 and $63,000.

The new hire will be charged with enforcing the state’s sanitary code, as well as all local public health ordinances.

Besides inspecting the town’s food establishments, the local health agent will also check compliance with local and state regulations in regards to public pools, tanning and tattoo facilities, and summer camps. The health agent will also investigate any complaints about rodent infestations, illegal dumping and refuse disposal, and food borne illness allegations.

Applicants to the job posting were required to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college and at least two years of field expense in the public health sector.

The town is reportedly still accepting applications for the job opening, according to information posted on the human resource’s department’s webpage.

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