Code enforcement inspector hire approved by council

The Marshalltown city council voted 6-0 at a special noon meeting Thursday allowing a new hire list for Code Enforcement Inspector.

(Councilor At-Large Leon Lamer was absent).

City Human Resources Director Jill Petermeier explained to council the candidate interview format, which had to be approved by the city’s Civil Service Commission.

Members are Chairperson Mary Stevens, Nancy Harris, and Paul Peglow.

Stevens is a veteran commission member, and is employed by Central Rivers Area Education Agency, Harris is vice-president with Farmers Savings Bank. and Peglow with local law firm Peglow, O’Hare and See, PLC.

Ex-officio member is Rev. Gregg Davison of Trinity Lutheran Church.

Petermeier said 16 applications were received. From that, 12 were scheduled to interview.

However, three candidates withdrew, leaving nine.

“This position (code enforcement inspector) … we did an application, then essay questions,” said Petermeier. “I believe we had seven essay questions. (Housing & Community Development Director) Michelle (Spohnheimer) and I individually scored those … we came up with a list. We looked for a natural break … to decide how many candidates to bring in for an interview.”

(The new hire will report to Spohnheimer).

The third, and final hurdle was a computer test.

“We did a scenario,” Petermeier said. “Because they will be dealing with complaints … we took from the complaint to mailing the letter out and following through. They (the candidates) had to go through the process, of putting information in the computer, looking up information on the Internet, typing up a letter and sending it out … we wanted to make sure someone had the skill set.”

Councilor-At-Large Bill Martin asked how the new hire would work with the Marshalltown Police Department to enforce nuisance ordinances.

City Administrator Jessica Kinser said officers would accompany the inspector to sites “where a stronger presence is needed.”

Kinser also said officers would accompany the inspector to visit property owners “where there had been issues before … making sure we are not putting an employee in an unsafe position.”


Contact Mike Donahey at 641-753-6611 or