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The city of Granite Shoals ended a longtime contract with a building inspector after liability concerns were brought to the attention of Mayor Aaron Garcia and Interim City Manager Peggy Smith. 

The inspector has held a contract with the city for at least eight years. The contract’s termination is the latest in a series of personnel changes for the city.

“Part of my job as mayor is to help protect the city from liability risks,” Garcia said. “There were some things that weren’t being done correctly.”

The mayor told he became aware of ongoing issues regarding the building inspector when he was made mayor pro tem in July. While Garcia did not share the exact nature of the issues, he did say the city faced potential liability risks. 

After further investigation into the inspector’s work, Garcia instructed Smith to end the contract and find new inspection services.

Building inspectors are responsible for ensuring construction meets building codes, ordinances, and contract requirements and follows zoning regulations.

The city does not have enough work to warrant hiring a full-time building inspector, Garcia said. This particular inspector was first contracted under former City Manager Ken Nickel in 2014.

Personnel changes have recently dominated Granite Shoals city business, including the firing of City Manager Jeff Looney, the resignation of Finance Director Russel Martin, the resignation of Mayor Will Skinner, the appointment of Place 2 Councilor Kevin Flack, and the hiring of Dawn Wright as city secretary.

Granite Shoals functions under a council-manager form of government, which allows the City Council to appoint or remove the city manager, city secretary, or city attorney. Other positions and contracts are handled by the city manager. In this case, Smith, as interim city manager, terminated the contract at the request of Mayor Garcia.

“(The building inspector’s) services were no longer needed, and it was in the best interest of the city to separate ties,” Garcia said.