HARWICH – Next month John “Jack” Mee takes over as the town’s third building commissioner in a little more than a year. Mee comes to the position from the town of Medway and brings 20 years of experience to the job.
It has been a tough year for Harwich when it comes to retaining building commissioners. Raymond Chesley, who served in that capacity for a couple of years, left the position abruptly in July 2021. The town functioned short-handed until former Halifax building commissioner Robert Piccirilli took the position in January. Piccirilli lasted less than six months, resigning that position on June 17.
Town Administrator Joseph Powers told the selectmen that the search process for a new building commissioner was competitive with several strong candidates, and Mee was ultimately the best choice for Harwich. Mee’s 20 years as a commissioner in similar towns was key, Powers said, adding that Mee brings extensive knowledge of zoning codes and enforcement to the job.
Selectman Donald Howell said he looked at the folder with resumes of the other candidates and Mee “is far and away the best candidate you could have chosen.” Selectmen last week affirmed Mee’s appointment on a 5-0 vote.
“It’s a very fortunate instance where the town’s need dovetails with a professional desire to join with the rest of his family in relocating to the town of Harwich,” Powers said of the new building commissioner’s plan to move to town.
Mee stated in an email to The Chronicle, “Our family was exposed to Harwich 30 years ago when my in-laws moved to town. They graciously opened their home to us to enjoy the community. Our children were raised on the beaches of Harwich, and enjoyed the many youth activities that were offered.”
Moving to town was a long-time goal. “My wife and I always agreed that we would like to end up in Harwich one day,” Mee wrote. “Several years ago we were starting to work on that dream until COVID hit. I recently became aware of Harwich’s need for a building commissioner. After a short discussion with my wife we confirmed that this could be our time to finally make our dream a reality.”
Mee has worked as a building commissioner in Medway for eight years. He also served in that capacity in the town of Walpole for 12 years. According to his resume, the job in Medway included overseeing the day-to-day operations of the building department, including plan review for proposed projects, issuing building permits and certificates of occupancy, inspecting ongoing projects for code compliance, supervising plumbing, gas, and wiring inspectors as well as office staff. He directed the zoning enforcement officer and worked closely with the fire department on relevant projects. Mee also implemented a new permitting software system used throughout the town.
He has also owned and operated a home remodeling company, Eagle Construction and Remodeling Inc., of Medway.
The new commissioner has a degree in building construction from the Wentworth Institute. He has a construction supervisor license, holds a state certification of local building inspector license, a certification of inspector of buildings/building commissioner, is a certified first responder, and holds several other certifications.
He was appointed to the building code board of appeals in Medway and was elected to the board of assessors. He coached youth baseball and soccer in Medway and volunteered as a site supervisor for Habitat for Humanity.
Mee has lived in Medway for 32 years, raising his family there. Over the next couple of weeks he plans to pack and begin the move to his new residence in Harwich. Mee said he plans to start work in Harwich during the first week in October.