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Crystal River hires building inspector

Lewis Chandler will start on March 26. He said the city's political instability surprised him.

The city on Thursday hired a Port Charlotte man as its new building inspector, filling a void left by the departure of Walter Brown.

Lewis Chandler, 60, is currently an electrical inspector for Sarasota County. He will begin his new job on March 26 and will earn $42,988.

As building inspector, Chandler will be responsible for reviewing all construction as well as building plans and possible code violations.

Chandler, the city's first choice of 15 applicants, holds several building code certifications and has worked as a teacher at a technical school.

The work environment Chandler will enter is by no means stable.

City Manager David Sallee has been forced out by the City Council, and Public Works Director Buddy Holshouser is leaving in May. Brown left citing the city's divisive politics.

"This is not the environment that I was looking for, but I've already made the commitment and will honor the commitment," Chandler said in an interview.

"I thought it would be a pleasant small town to work in and I was surprised to find there was a lot of dissension."