North Adams Health Inspector to Step Down
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Health Inspector Valerie Bird has officially stepped down from her post to serve in a part-time capacity.
Before delving into her report Wednesday, Bird said because of health concerns she must leave the full-time position.
"I have severe arthritis, which requires me to go the doctor, who isn’t in the area," she said. "In order for me to do that I have to take whole days off and it doesn’t really make sense for me to stay on full time."
Bird said she would stay on part time to help train a new inspector.
"I am going back to a part-time position and I am going to stay on to help train somebody else," Bird said. "…I don’t want to drop the ball on some of the health issues that we have in the city."
The board thanked Bird for her service.
"We thank you for your work and everything you have done," Board member Brendan Bullett said.
Bird also introduced new Code Enforcement Officer Michael Moore
"He has done inspections and some apartment inspections," Bird said. "…He got to go to housing court, too."
She said he is already off to a good start and attended inspections at Mingo’s, which recently reopened and at the Oriental Buffet.
Bird said because of cleanliness issues they did force Oriental Buffet to close their doors for a sprucing up.
"We found a number of things that were of concern at the Oriental Buffet so we closed the door to clean and gave them a laundry list," she said. "They did quite a bit and I allowed them to open back up."
In other business, the board agreed to reject the food license application of Fuad Ndibalema, owner of Samosaman, because of discrepancies in his application.
"Given the history and the track record I don’t think we want to have this liability," Bullett said. "…I don’t feel comfortable with this."
Bird said the address listed on his application was a condemned house in Vermont. She said she also found his Vermont license was revoked. She said Boston also revoked his license.
Ndibalema said he no longer has a business in Vermont and the address is only a post office box. He said his current base of operation is in New Hampshire.
"I have a business and right now we have business going on. I have a restaurant in New Hampshire," he said. "…I have been doing this for 10 years and have been doing a great job. We have never had a problem but I understand you have to do your due diligence."
Bird said she also called the New Hampshire health department office and they could not verify Ndibalema’s license. She said she would call again and ask about the restaurant.
The Board of Health agreed that it wanted something in writing from the state of New Hampshire before issuing the permit.
Bullet said if the confusion can be cleared up the permit should not be an issue.
"Our number one concern is the safety and health of the city’s residents and when we have a hard time finding licenses, find multiple revocations and the story doesn’t add up it makes us hesitant," Bullett said. "This can happen we just need to have everything squared away."
The board also approved six condemnations and properties on East Quincy, Duggan, West Main and Wesleyan Streets. They were condemned but a majority of the property owners contacted the office and said they had plans to fix their property.
The board also condemned a property on Prospect Street because the owner has yet to pull permits for construction.
"The house is in different states of demolition and construction without any permits," Building Inspector William Meranti said. "It is just not livable."
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