Nancy Brusie Interview
This is file #22, cycle 4. Today’s date is August 28, 2019. This is Jean McMillen. I am interviewing Nancy Brusie who is the secretary to the Building Inspector, Mike Carbone. She is also part of the Planning and Zoning Committee. We are going to talk about her job, her responsibilities and anything else she wants to add. But first we’ll start with the really hard stuff…
JM:What is your name?
JM:How did you get involved with planning and zoning?
NB:I originally started by career at secretary to the planning board, zoning board of appeals and town supervisor in the town of Northeast, Millerton, New York.
JM:When were you working at Millerton?
NB:Years and years ago
JM:When did you actually come over to Salisbury to work at Planning & Zoning?
JM:You did say it was 23 years ago.
JM:What does the Board of Planning & Zoning do?
NB:Planning & Zoning no only enforces our current regulations. They also try to plan and develop the community for future development and things of that sort.
JM: What are your specific job responsibilities for Planning & Zoning?
NB:There are a lot. I report to the Planning & Zoning Commission at their agent; however I do work for every citizen in the town of Lakeville- Salisbury. I do administrative zoning permits. I do an agenda for Planning & Zoning meetings. I do the preparation for that. I take messages and all the routine secretarial duties. I get the mail, put legal notices in the newspaper, contact other towns if need be. I don’t do specifically the site plan review, but some of them are within my purview. There are administrative zoning permits that I can issue: some of them are in the Planning & Zoning Commission’s purview which they review and issue, as well as special permits and subdivisions. I do not do wetland permits, but that is Ruth Mulkahey.
JM:Who is she?
NB:She is the Inland Wetlands Conservation Administrator here in the Town Hall. She works Tuesdays 2-4. She replaced Peter Oliver. (See Peter Oliver interview)
JM:When does the Planning & Zoning Board meet?2.
NB:We meet the 4th Monday of every month at 6:30 PM at the Town Hall.
JM:How many are on the board?
NB:There are 8: 5 voting members and 3 alternates.
JM:Please talk about the POCD, and what it is.
NB:Plan of Conservation & Development which is an overall concept plan where the town might be in 10 years, or 15 years or whatever. This is what they think the town should look like.
JM:Does that include businesses, residential.
NB:It includes everything.
JM:Who makes the town regulations?
NB:The Planning and Zoning Commission
JM:They make the regulations and they enforce them.
NB:The make the regulations, the public has input on every regulation change that is proposed through a public hearing. I, as the agent along with P&Z, I do the enforcement. I do the enforcement that is what the Zoning Administrator does.
JM:Are there regulation for signage?
JM:Generally what are they?
NB:They are too complicated: there are about 8 pages of them. They are all in our zoning regulations that are on line.
JM:I am asking question because I don’t know.
JM:At the meeting last night was on affordable housing?
NB:The meeting on Monday night was on multi-family housing. We do not use the word affordable.
JM:We have several housing like East Meadow, and Faith House, and Sarum Village.
NB:But those are not in our purview; those are the Salisbury Housing Commission or whatever.
JM:How many different commissions or agencies are there which provide low-income housing?
NB:I don’t know the answer to that. I think there are three or four.
(Salisbury Housing Trust on Dunham Drive, see Inge Dunham interview)
(Habitat for Humanity, see John Pogue interview)
Salisbury Housing Commission sponsors Sarum Village I and II, see Anne Kremer interview)
an early affordable housing site at East Meadow and Faith Housing, see Rev. Richard Taber interview Ed.)
JM:To me that is very confusing, but I think it is confusing to everybody.
JM:What do you like best about your job?
NB:Oh there isn’t one thing I like better that another, every little piece that works together.
JM:You have been doing this for a long time so you really must love it.
NB:Yes, most days.
JM:What do you like least, if anything?
NB:Not being able to give someone what they want.
JM:But sometimes their wants are unrealistic, are they not?
NB:Yeah but I try to, with every applicant who come in if they don’t know, figure out a way to get what they want within the realm of the regulations. I don’t like them to be disappointed if I can.
JM:But there is a good reason if their expectations can’t be met.
NB:Yes, absolutely but it is usually because they don’t meet one of the requirements or whatever.
JM:That makes sense to me.
NB:They always have an avenue to go to the Zoning Board of Appeals and ask for a variance or a use variance, or a set-back variance, things of that sort. (See Barbara Pogue or Roger Rawling interview)
JM:It is good that there is an alternate; always have a Plan B.
JM:Is there anything else you would like to add on the Planning & Zoning part before we go on to the Building Inspector part?
NB:No I don’t think so.
JM:Building Inspector, how many different building inspectors have you worked for in Salisbury?
NB:2 Mike Carbone and Mike Fitting (See Mike fitting interview)
JM:Job responsibilities for that?
NB:Answering the phone, keeping files, entering permits into the computer, mail, and routine clerical duties for the Building Inspector.
JM:Because you are on the Planning & Zoning as well as secretary to the Building Inspector, do they complement each other?
NB:The building department should always know what the planning & zoning do. For a single family residence if they have a private well or septic, they need to see Torrington Health first. If they have wetlands, they can get an inland wetlands permit. Then they come to me for a regular zoning administration permit and then they go to the building inspector for a building permit. It keeps everybody abreast of that is going on and sort of on the same task.
JM:Are there different kinds of zoning permits?
NB:There are administrative zoning permits for a single family, it can be a for a garage which is an accessory structure, it can be for a swimming pool, it can be for a garden shed, but all of those are what we consider administrative zoning permits. Those I can do myself.
JM:Then there are other zoning permits that have to be approved by the Planning & Zoning Commission?
NB:Yes then after they are approved, they come to me and get a regular administrative zoning permit.
JM:Are you training someone?
JM:Do you want to train somebody?
NB:When I get ready to retire, absolutely
JM:Are you thinking about retirement?5.
NB:We always think about retirement! But I don’t know. I have not made any definite plans.
JM:You are just enjoying this.
NB:I’d like to be here another couple of years.
JM:We certainly hope you will be. Is there anything you would like to add to this part?
JM:Thank you very much.
NB:That was quick and easy and painless. Thank you.