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Raymond Building Inspector Richard Mailhot Retires After 31 Years
By Penny Williams 1-12-15

Richard Mailhot has retired from Raymond and his multi-responsibility position after 31 full and often exciting years of serving the residents as building inspector and health officer. A surprise retirement party for Mailhot was held at Candia Woods on Friday Dec. 12.

“My years serving Raymond have been an amazing experience,” Mailhot said. “Not only did I learn about the Town, but more importantly to me I learned about myself.  I have gained a real understanding of who I am, what my abilities are and how best to use them in the furtherance of my abilities to deal with the public.

“Raymond has changed so much over the years,” he continued. “It was known as a ‘tough town’ when I arrived in 1983. Over the years, and with the professionalism of the various departments, Raymond is now a very desirable place to live and raise a family. It is an inviting place and I am sure there is a fantastic future for Raymond as it heads towards its 275th anniversary.”

 

Karen and Richard entering his surprise retirement party.

 

He started out being responsible for general building inspection, particularly septic system repair and replacements, as Raymond at that time was going through a period of numerous septic systems failures.

“Upon my hire I was a Licensed Master Electrician, alarm installer, and oil and gas burner technician,” Mailhot said. “I had been taking building inspection classes with respect to the then National Building Code.”

Looking back at his arrival in Raymond, Mailhot said, “I was attracted to the job some 31-plus years ago after finding an advertisement for the position in the Raymond Times, a local weekly newspaper (at that time),” he recalled. “My soon to be wife, Karen, and I had just relocated to a home we purchased in Raymond. I had been performing building inspection duties in my former town for several years. It sounded like a perfect fit for me. I felt I had the required skills and experience to be of value to the community. The Town was without an inspector at that time.”

 

Richard's look of amazement that he knew nothing about this.

 

At the time of his retirement in December, his responsibilities had grown to include all zoning determinations; building application acceptances and reviews; all electrical, plumbing, mechanical, energy conservation, and septic system issues; and general zoning code enforcement requirements. In addition, he was a member of the Community Development Technical Review Committee and the Highway Safety Committee, and served as the Town's Health Officer.

Asked what he found the most challenging aspect of his work over the years he responded,  “In the beginning it was the Health Officer aspect, where I was dealing with septic systems run amuck almost everywhere. After a year or so and after getting that under control, it became the Building Code end, as the Town did not have a Building Code when I started. I was able to convince the Planning Board at that time of the value of developing a building code.”

He noted that the State adopted its first comprehensive building code five years ago, putting Raymond ahead of the curve. Department heads and I worked together to educate the public who supported adopting the National B.O.C.A. (Building Officials & Code Administrators) code,” he said. “It was a monumental step for the Town, and in my humble opinion was the start of having safe, sanitary and structurally sound buildings in Town.”

 

 

Richard stood listening as town officials wished him well on his retirement.

 

As Raymond has grown and changed over the years, Mailhot said the various functions of his job changed as well.

“The individual job functions have become harder and easier over time, if that's possible,” he said. “It became easier as contractors came around to having an understanding that there was now a code that their work would be held up against. It became harder in that the codes were somewhat in their infancy in New Hampshire and were under constant change, which required constant training and update courses to be taken.”

Among his memories from his many years are:  

Looking back, he said, “Raymond has become an active business and residential community. The Town, in my humble opinion, uses the Community Development Department Building Inspection Section as a resource for information and comparison. Calls are received many times daily seeking advice and information on owners’ existing homes or about homes they seek to purchase or about the Town in general. The community seems to rely on the Department greatly.”

In appreciation of Mailhot’s years of dedication, the Town hosted a surprise retirement party for Mailhot just prior to his last days of work.

Mailhot said, “My retirement party was an absolute surprise to me. I had not a single clue.  My wife had started a new job two weeks before so the cover of needing to attend her ‘new employer’s Christmas party’ was totally plausible to me.  OK, you got me, and that's usually not an easy thing.”

 

Wayne Welch presented an Appreciation for Services plaque to Richard.

 

Speaking of his wife and her part in planning his retirement party on Friday Dec. 12, Mailhot said, “She is my rock,” he said. “We have three children: Alicia, a New Hampshire Banking Commission examiner; Hanson Leroy, a medical technician working in a Concord medical practice; and our youngest, Richard, off listening to his own drummer and working toward a teaching degree. My life has been blessed with three healthy children.” He and his wife will celebrate 30 years of marriage in April. They now live in Deerfield.

 

 

Paul Hammond and Kevin Pratt presented Richard with a plaque and Fire Department T-shirts.

 

And retirement agrees with Mailhot. He said he has been incredibly busy but is enjoying every minute of it.

“My immediate plans for retirement are to be a housewife,” he said. “No ill will intended to housewives but my wife is a bit younger than I am and has a few more years to work. We agreed long ago that I would take over the home duties upon my retirement.

“I will also be fitting in a substantially larger block of ‘riding’ time,” he said. “My wife and I are both motorcycle enthusiasts, each owning our own Harley motorcycles. I plan to do some long trips with a retired friend as well more local riding with the guys.”

As he enters retirement, life remains good, busy and interesting for a man who has spent more than three decades serving the needs of Raymond residents in a variety of capacities. He has made the transition into retirement with the same determination and dedication he brought to his job, and the future holds new journeys and adventures that he stands ready to embrace.

 

 

Richard had a few good stories to share from 31 years in Raymond.

 

Over 100 friends and coworkers attended to wish Richard a Happy Retirement.

 

The band played music for guests to dance into the night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raymond Town Office
4 Epping Street

895-4735

Raymond NH Website

 


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