Building Inspector Jim Soper was born and raised in town, watching his father, grandfather and others in his family give back to the community they called home. That is what made working as the townâ€™s building inspector the last few years special for him.
Unfortunately for Winthrop, Soper was so good at his job that he has been offered the opportunity to go and move on to a larger job in a bigger community for more money.
Soper will leave Winthrop within the new week or so, to become Inspectional Services Director for the City of Everett, managing a staff of 12 inspectors, who oversee health, code and enforcement violations for that city.
â€œI really have enjoyed my time here working for the town,â€ noted Soper, who raised his two children here with his wife Diane. â€œI have enjoyed working with all of the employees in this town, because the dedication they have for their jobs is just outstanding. I donâ€™t have anything negative to say about the town or anyone who works here.â€
According to Soper, the simple fact is that an opportunity to advance his career and make a better salary presented itself and he has taken advantage of that opportunity. Staring down the road at college loans and a future retirement, it is easy to understand why he made a decision that was in the best interests of his family.
â€œIt will be a great learning experience for me, just like taking this job was,â€ said Soper. â€œI find it very sad to leave the community, as an employee., but Iâ€™ll still be living here. Iâ€™ll miss the opportunity to help people in the community and be a positive influence for our town.â€
Town Manager James McKenna noted that it would be difficult to replace someone with the knowledge and affection for the community that Soper has shown in his time as Building Inspector. However, he noted the department will be in good hands and he wished Soper good luck in the future.
â€œWe are very grateful that we had Jim Soper with us for as long as we did,â€ said McKenna. â€œHe did an outstanding job for us and nobody can question his dedication to the community. I am not surprised that he has been given this opportunity in Everett. It is a position with a lot bigger role. I know he is capable of it and he deserves the opportunity. He had a professional goal, in mind, which he has now realized and I wish him well.â€
However, McKenna added that retired Revere Building Inspector John Barrett will be coming aboard to replace Soper as Building Inspector, so the department will be able to continue normal operations.
â€œOne of my concerns with (Soper) leaving, was that we find a way to make sure that department could continue to function seamlessly and with the addition of (Barrett), weâ€™ll be able to do that, so that is good news.â€