Salvino hired as housing inspector
SALEM — Councilman Sal Salvino said he’ll apply his private sector experience to his new public service position as the city’s full-time Director of Housing/Housing Inspector.
“I think that’s very valuable,” he said, referring to the people skills he’s developed the past 16-plus years.
Salvino is resigning effective Tuesday from his job as manager of the Salem Bob Evans Restaurant, where he’s worked since Sept. 23, 2004. His first day in his new post will be March 22.
“I’m thrilled at the opportunity,” he said.
In a special meeting Wednesday, the city Health District Board voted to appoint Salvino to the newly-created position after holding an executive session for personnel. The housing department is being moved under the jurisdiction of the health department. City council had already created the full-time position in anticipation of the move.
Mayor John Berlin, who serves as chairman of the health board by virtue of his position, said the current part-time housing inspector, Dan Rice, is retiring March 26, giving Salvino a week to work with him. The part-time position won’t be filled at this time after Rice leaves. The other part-time inspector, Roy Brown, retired last fall.
According to Berlin, a full-time inspector should be able to complete the inspections since they’ve changed the ordinance to only require an inspection every three years if a housing unit passes inspection. Out of an estimated 2,300 apartments in the city, all but 500 usually pass, so the change will cut down the number of inspections required in a year. The health board also approved the wage for the full-time position, which is starting at $19.69 per hour. After one year, the wage increases to $20.09 per hour, then $20.50 per hour after year two and $20.91 after year three. City council will have to approve the wage as part of the wage ordinance, which means Salvino will have to abstain from the vote.
Berlin said he’s awaiting an answer from city Law Director Brooke Zellers on whether Salvino can remain on council or whether there’s a conflict that will require him to give up his At Large seat, which Salvino said he’s willing to do if necessary. The mayor would like to see him continue his work on council, but he wouldn’t be able to vote on some items, including the city budget and anything to do with his wage or benefits.
Berlin wanted to get somebody into the seat as housing inspector who’s qualified before Rice left. Salvino has a lot of experience in management and will be able to take online courses offered by the Ohio Department of Commerce to gain a cursory knowledge of what to look for in the areas of plumbing, construction and electrical during a housing inspection.
According to the job description, “The Director of Housing/Housing Inspector ensures that all properties are in compliance with city housing code ordinances, performs regularly scheduled inspections and investigations of non-owner occupied residential units, and maintains records and reports.”
Qualifications include a “high school education or equivalent, additional course work in housing code administration enforcement and a minimum of (1) year experience in building trades, construction or related occupation or an equivalent combination of education, training, and experience. Must possess a valid State of Ohio driver’s license with an acceptable driving record.”
A Salem High School graduate, Salvino earned a bachelor’s of business administration degree in management from Kent State University in 2003 and a master’s degree in economics from Youngstown State University in 2016. He said he served an internship at American Standard before going to Bob Evans.
Salvino has been very vocal about wanting to tackle blight in the city and said this job in housing is an “opportunity for me to get my hands dirty and jump in,” to be part of the progress.
Leaving Bob Evans was not an easy decision and he said he weighed the pros and cons, but financially it made more sense for him and his family to take the city post, even if it could mean leaving council.
He admitted he was surprised when Berlin approached him about the idea, speaking to him Monday evening.
Salvino said the experience he gained at Bob Evans will prove valuable, noting the job required a lot of accountability and people handling skills, referring to the public he served, the employees under him, and the managers both above and below him. The job was results-oriented and there were deadlines to meet.
For housing, he said it’s “all about setting standards, following policy and continuous followup.”
Salvino is in the last year of his first four-year term on council. As a newcomer, he ran as an Independent, but this year he filed to seek a second term as a Republican.