New Mashpee Building Commissioner Stresses Safety
By: GEOFF SPILLANE, August 8, 2014
For the first time in more than three years, the Town of Mashpee has a full-time building commissioner.
Earlier this week Michael Mendoza, who assumed the position late last month, discussed some of the challenges he expects to face as the lead building official in a small Cape Cod town that is fast approaching buildout.
Mr. Mendoza, a New Bedford resident, was previously the building commissioner for the City of Marlborough, and also held similar positions in Carver and Fairhaven.
“Here on the Cape there are many more issues involving summer construction, where you have owners working on a tight schedule so that they can have safe housing to occupy or rent during the season,” he said.
Mr. Mendoza also believes there is quite a bit of commercial and industrial development, including the still-to-be-constructed phases of Mashpee Commons, that he expects to be dealing with in the years to come.
“Eventually people who move here will want more of the stores and services they miss from home,” he said, citing the department chain Target as an example.
Mr. Mendoza is well known and respected in local construction circles.
He is currently president of the Southeastern Massachusetts Building Officials Association, and leads an annual two-day training seminar for the state’s building officials.
Through his professional affiliations, Mr. Mendoza said that he already knows quite a few of the building inspectors on the Cape and islands, and, having worked in seaside Fairhaven, is very familiar with FEMA officials and regulations.
“It’s not like they would be dealing with a stranger if they need to come here. This is not my first time at the rodeo,” he laughed.
As far as managing and leading a department at Mashpee Town Hall that many people dread having to visit, Mr. Mendoza has some interesting thoughts.
“I don’t like the bogeyman and that’s the persona this position takes on,” he said.
He stressed that the goal of the building department is to promote public safety, safe housing, and to protect owners’ investments and whoever visits the property, be it residential or commercial. He also emphasized that building codes are the minimum requirements that need to be met in the building industry.
“We are here to help, not hinder. We just want people to be safe,” Mr. Mendoza said.