I will start off with a milestone of sorts. Assistant Building Commissioner Roger Clark officially retired on August 31st. Roger had more than 21 years of service to the County and we want to say thank you and congratulations. As the word gets out, I am hearing more and more stories from contractors on their interactions with Roger over the years. In typical Roger style, he requested that there be no retirement celebration or announcement until after he left.
Changes seem to be the buzzword at the building department this month. Roger’s replacement will be George Smith. George holds both a Master Electrician and Commercial Contracting license. He has been an inspector for the past eight years. I am looking forward to George moving the technology improvements forward for us as well as embracing our commitment to improving our customer service.
County Council has approved 100% of our capital requests related to the remodeling of the building department offices. Contractors needing permits may want to take advantage of online permitting to avoid in-person delays. Our office has moved around the corner to room 185 while remodeling takes place. What you will see when we are done is a more open space where we don’t have to squeeze by each other to get permit applications. Instead of there being a line, clerks will call you up to the counter when your turn comes up. A private conference space for pre-construction meetings will also be available. Thanks to all who supported us with cards and appearances at the public portion of County Council. You have greatly help us in making this happen.
The decision to leave the requirements for Journeymen to be present on jobsites will remain the same for now based on outcomes of the last Building Department Board of Directors’ meeting. A motion to form a committee was passed to study this in greater detail. I think any process which includes making the Journeyman less important is detrimental to our County. I would hate to see a time when construction slows down and businesses lay off a higher paid Journeyman in favor of an apprentice to do all the work. We would lose both quality and safety in my opinion. I believe the solution lies in taking an active role in local higher learning institutions so testing and preparation can be done more efficiently.
Again, thanks for all your support,