Westport BOH seeks full time health agent

Duties will include long-sought animal registry

By Bruce Burdett
Posted 5/23/19

The Board of Health wants to combine two part-time health agent positions into one full-timer whose responsibilities will include following through with a new animal registry once the board has …

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Westport BOH seeks full time health agent

Duties will include long-sought animal registry

Posted

The Board of Health wants to combine two part-time health agent positions into one full-timer whose responsibilities will include following through with a new animal registry once the board has completed it, hopefully before the end of summer.

Selectmen approved the transition to a full time agent, on the stipulation that the job posting be accompanied by a job description that covers the various duties and requirements.

BOH Chairman Philip Weinberg said the job might actually cost less than the two part-time posts, although selectman Steven Ouellette said any savings would likely be wiped out by the fact that the full-timer would receive a pension.

The timing is good, the BOH said, because part-time agent Ray Belanger, who has focused on food and restaurant inspections, has given notice that he plans to retire in July.

The full-time agent job will include a variety of inspection related duties, Health Director Matt Armendo said. In addition to animal registry, he or she will handle food inspections, housing, swimming pools — all sorts of inspections covered by the Health Department.

Board of Selectmen Chairwoman Shana Shufelt said she hopes those various duties don’t preclude the new agent from also being able to assist with other animal inspection work.

Audience member Constance Gee agreed.

“I hope that this person, if he or she doesn’t come in with animal expertise of knowledge, that the (Board of Health) will insist on some sort of course work … (We) want to make sure this person is well-versed when they go out to inspect animals.”

Asked about a timetable for the animal registry, Mr. Weinberg said that the BOH is working on it now and that it shoiuld be done sometime this summer. After that, he said there will take some time to get the word out about the new regulation and the need for all who keep farm animals to notify the town.

“We know how many farms appear in the Barn Book (count),” he said. “But we have a sense that there are more out there — we don’t know how many.”

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