One on One with…Alex Sirois, Casco’s new CEO

 

Alex Sirois

Alex Sirois

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

CASCO — Alex Sirois, the former assistant code enforcement officer in Poland, stepped aboard as Casco’s only CEO during the most hectic time of year.

During a half-hour interview, office staff stepped in to check on the status of a residential septic system.

“It’s a busy time of year. This would have definitely been easier to do in November, December or January,” Sirois said.

During the course of one week, there are between 10 and 15 inquiries to the code enforcement department, not to mention building inspections that need to be scheduled.

“If we can get through this month, we should be all set,” he said.

Already, Sirois has been updating his department’s website to give people access to the answers of those most frequently asked questions. This was a project he undertook for the Town of Poland.

“We will be redoing the website, the code enforcement part, to make it a lot more citizen friendly. The mindset is that if they can find the information on their own online, they won’t be calling or stopping by here,” he said. “And, that frees up time.”

The website improvements “will be a work in progress whenever there is time,” he said.

Sirois took some time to answer questions for The News on Wednesday morning.

  1. How many years have you been in code enforcement?

Alex: I have been working in code enforcement for a little over three years now.

  1. What were some of the highlights of your job as assistant CEO in Town of Poland?

Alex: The greatest thing I take away from my time in Poland is the connections made. I was able to meet some great citizens and contractors while there, and I look forward to being able to continue that in Casco.

  1. What made you decide to apply for the CEO job with the Town of Casco?

Alex: I heard great things about the town, and its administration.

  1. How has your first week at work been?

Alex: Busy! The staff at the town office has been great, making the transition very smooth.

  1. How would you describe your first month as CEO in Casco?

Alex: Things have definitely settled down into a groove. Once you get the office system put together — collecting e-mails and phone calls, things get a little more streamlined. Things are definitely more organized than week one. There is a lot going on; and it’s very easy for things to pile up.

  1. What do you anticipate will take up most of your time — Shoreland Zoning stuff, building permits that require on-site visits, general questions from the public, answering reporters’ questions, reading the ordinances?

Alex: Right now my focus has been on getting acquainted with the town’s zoning ordinance, and fielding questions. As things progress I can see Shoreland Zoning related questions, permits, and inspections taking up a majority of my time here.

  1. Do you consider yourself to be a people person or a things person?

Alex: Probably, a people person. I don’t seem to have too much alone time, even when I am not here.

  1. As far as code enforcement goes, what related background knowledge do you have?

Alex: I have state certification in Shoreland Zoning, and I am currently going through the process to be a local plumbing inspector for internal and subsurface plumbing.

  1. Did you grow up in Maine or elsewhere? And, what made you stay in Maine or move to Maine as an adult?

Alex: I did grow up in Maine, split between Lewiston and Minot. I graduated from Poland Regional High School in 2006, and received my bachelor’s in communications in 2010 from the New England School of Communications. While I love to travel, I enjoy living in Maine.

  1. In what way is your bachelor’s degree in communications applicable to your job in code enforcement?

That’s a good question because a lot of people don’t see that connection. They don’t see how code enforcement and communication relate. This job is 80 percent communications and 20 percent researching codes. Good communication skills are absolutely essential. It’s important to get back to people right away. We get between 10 and 15 people calling a day with questions.

  1. What other jobs did you have before getting into code enforcement for the Town of Poland?

Alex: I actually managed a kitchen for three years, which was something else. I have been working for Poland since 2011. So, the summer after I graduated, I started with the Town of Poland but not in code enforcement until later.

I run an event services business. I have been doing that since 2010. We focus on weddings mostly. We also do audio visual, like setting up the disc jockey for an event — all things that fall under the umbrella of communications.

  1. What are some of your favorite places to spend time in Maine?

Alex: I like Bailey Island, Casco Bay in general because I sail, and Bar Harbor for Acadia State Park.

  1. What are some of the appealing qualities about Casco?

Alex: Casco is a small town, which I like, but it has a lot going on.

  1. Could you please elaborate on what you mean when you say Casco “has a lot going on?”

Basically, due to the eight or nine bodies of water, there is a large amount of summer residents. Due to the fact that the population swells during the summer, it is a small town that gets very busy.

The town office — that is definitely an exciting project. It started shortly before I came on, and they start framing in two weeks. It will be nice to see the entire process through. But, Dave Morton and Bob Tooker have a good handle on that project.

  1. Have you already been signed up to volunteer at Casco Days?

Alex: Someone was in here earlier today asking if I know how to set up a Ferris wheel. I don’t know how to put a Ferris wheel together. I am sure I could research it.

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