Easton officials shocked by death of home inspector


EASTON – The sudden death of longtime building inspector Anthony Ballaro left many officials in shock and caused the city to look to its neighbors to meet the construction bureau’s request.

First Selectman Dave Bindelglass remembers receiving a phone call shortly after seeing Ballaro just before his death on May 8.

“Work with [Anthony] was great, ”Bindelglass said. “The horror is that I walked out of the building with him on Friday afternoon and then got a call saying he passed away.”

“It was just absolutely devastating.”

Ballaro, a longtime Shelton resident, began his career as a plumber for Local 777 before becoming a partner at Ballaro Brothers, LLC. He went on to work as a building inspector for Shelton before becoming the chief building manager for Easton.

“Anthony had a great sense of humor and it was a pleasure to work with him. He entertained everyone at town hall. He was just a great person, ”added Bindelglass.

As the building manager, Ballaro was in charge of many important tasks. The duties of a home inspector include inspecting additions to homes, signing initial permits and certificates of occupancy, and inspecting structures after storm damage.

The responsibilities of the building inspector also include issuing notices of violation if fire safety conditions are not properly observed or if a building suffers from major structural damage, examining the electrical wiring systems of a building, electric motors, generation equipment and lighting systems for faulty wiring elements as well as checking the overall quality of a building’s emergency exits, smoke control systems, sprinkler systems fire protection and fire protection equipment.

Easton is entering one of the busiest times of the year for inspections, however, several home inspectors from nearby towns like Westport have decided to join in and help during this difficult time. Retired Fairfield Building Manager Tom Conley has also served Easton on a part-time basis.

“We knew each other as members of District 8, who are responsible for the construction of Fairfield County,” said Peter Howard, Easton resident and Westport construction manager.

He said he had met and talked to Ballaro a few times, but had been a regular replacement for Easton for many years if people were sick or on vacation.

“As it happened so suddenly, a few guys called up immediately volunteered and did some inspections,” Howard added. “I live in the city and I know the city well. I met the first selectman and decided to replace him and move on to the process of finding someone new.

Since most cities only have one full-time home inspector, Bindelglass said several other home inspectors have already attended to help before a vacation or illness. During this difficult time, the tight-knit group has been extremely helpful.

“With the suddenness of it, they were awesome. They answered calls on their cell phones and showed up almost anytime when we needed things, ”Bindelglass added. “I think they’ve all been phenomenal.”

Just weeks away from Ballaro’s funeral on May 14, Bindelglass said, out of respect for the situation, he wanted the dust to settle a bit and then post for the post at the end of the month.

“My goal is to make us a responsive and friendly city for our residents who are building or upgrading their homes and properties,” said Bindelglass. “I hope there won’t be any hiccups while we search for a new inspector.”

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