Vincennes native Brad Snider will start next week as the city's new inspector.
Snider, who has been in the building industry for more than 30 years, will take over for Philip Cooper, who is set to retire at the end of the year after eight years in the position in Mayor Joe Yochum’s administration.
Snider entered the building market alongside a local contractor in 1982; a few years later he went to work for a plumbing wholesaler in Terre Haute.
Before going to work as a contractor salesman for Niehaus Companies in 1996, a post he held up until just recently, he also worked for the former Wickes Lumber in Vincennes.
He's overseen just about every aspect of a building process, he said, and he's looking forward to bringing his attention to detail to the job of city inspector.
“The building industry is what I've been in my whole life,” Snider said. “But this job is going to be something new for me. I'm excited about taking on a new challenge.
“The building industry is what I know, and I want to stay in it, and I think this will show me another aspect of it.”
Snider will start on Monday and for a month shadow Cooper in an effort to learn the ropes. They are big shoes to fill, Snider said of Cooper, so he's looking forward to having a month to learn.
Yochum said he thought Snider's extensive knowledge of all aspects of the building process made him a good candidate for the job.
“He's been in the building industry for a long time, so he's used to dealing with individuals and contractors,” the mayor said. “That's a big part of this job.
“He's easy to talk to and work with, and that's exactly what I need, someone willing to work with the public and, at the same time, accomplish the city's goals.”
Snider, too, said there are things “here and there” concerning local building codes that could be done differently, so he looks forward to working with both builders and elected officials on implementing his ideas.
And he thinks builders themselves will be open to his input.
“I know all of them,” Snider said. “I've dealt with them personally, I have friendships with them, so I think if I see something wrong, they will respect me enough to make the changes that need to be made.”
Snider, too, said he looks forward to working with the city's Historic Review Board. The city inspector takes applications for building permits within the Historic District and directs those necessary to the HRB for review.
“That's something the mayor and I discussed,” Snider said. “I know the products it takes to make these houses stay looking historical. I can speak up and say, 'I know this company will match those windows or that type of siding or roofing.'
“I think I will be a big asset (to the HRB),” he said.
Cooper announced early this month that he would retire at the end of the year.
He was appointed to the post by Yochum shortly after he took office in January of 2012.
Cooper, a retired firefighter and licensed electrician, oversaw a total revamping of the city's rental inspection program after taking over the post from Chris Eisenhut.
He also oversaw the expenditure of hundreds of thousands of dollars secured from the state's Hardest Hit Blight Elimination Fund for the razing of eyesore structures.