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New building commissioner hired in Amherst

For the first time in more than 30 years, someone new will oversee building in Erie County’s most populous town.

The Town of Amherst has hired Brian P. Andrzejewski, a licensed professional engineer working in the private sector, as its new commissioner of building. Andrzejewski, 49, will take over Aug. 29 when longtime building commissioner Thomas C. Ketchum retires.

Andrzejewski will earn an annual salary of $107,850.

He is the first of three town department heads who will come aboard in the coming weeks and months.

Amherst is close to hiring a new assessor to replace Ann M. Terranova, who will retire at the end of the month.

In addition, the town is still searching for a town engineer, a position also held by Ketchum in a dual role.

The departure of Ketchum – who has served as building commissioner since 1983 – leaves a big hole in Town Hall, but Andrzejewski has more than 25 years’ experience with a varied background in civil engineering and code enforcement, said Robert P. McCarthy, the town’s director of human resources.

“He’s highly qualified for the position,” McCarthy said. “We’re very excited to land him.”

As building commissioner, Andrzejewski will head a department responsible for reviewing building permits and site plans, along with administering the town’s zoning and building ordinances, among many other duties.

Most recently, Andrzejewski – who graduated from the University at Buffalo with a degree in civil engineering – has worked as a senior project manager for Prudent Engineering in Buffalo since 2011. Prior to that, he was a senior project manager for Greenman-Pedersen Inc. His previous experience includes working as engineering manager for the Seneca Nation, where he was responsible for planning, designing and managing all government projects.

Andrzejewski was among the more than half-dozen candidates who applied for either the job of town engineer or building commissioner, McCarthy said. Andrzejewski could do either, or possibly both, but taking on the two roles as Ketchum has done in recent years probably would have been too much for someone just coming on board, McCarthy said.

The Amherst Town Board approved the hiring this week and gave Andrzejewski, who lives in East Concord, a six-month residency waiver.