New Year’s Eve Meeting -Talk about Weird Endings

Building Inspector Wanted- Insider or Outsider?

By Pat Hunter

Lenoir City officials met at 10:36 AM on New Year’s Eve to discuss hiring a Building Codes Inspector and most of the discussion centered on whether to hire an “insider” or “outsider!”

Lenoir City’s Personnel Committee exchanged comments about meeting tardiness. Mayor Matt Brookshire, a Loudon County middle school educator, was 6-minutes late as the Personnel Committee waited for his arrival to start the meeting.

Councilman Blackie Johnson asked Mayor Brookshire if the two un-named applicants would be interviewed. Councilman Mike Henline responded by saying he had some questions.

Mayor Brookshire said that Building Codes Inspector DeAnne Bogus had taken a job in the civil engineering field and she had tendered her resignation one week before Christmas. According to Brookshire, her last day would be Jan. 11th.

Brookshire informed the Committee that he had asked David Denton to fill in on an interim basis until the vacancy was filled. He explained that after Denton retired as city building codes inspector, he continued to maintain his certification, which would allow him to continue to issue building permits.

Mayor Brookshire commented that there were people working for the city on the “inside” that were interested in the Building Inspector’s position. He asked the Personnel Committee for their input on how to proceed. Brookshire wanted to know if the Personnel Committee just wanted to hire “inside” applicants or advertise and take other applications from the “outside.”

Councilman Blackie Johnson said that he thought that they had qualified people in-house already and he saw no reason to advertise in the newspaper for a whole bunch of “outsiders” that didn’t know anything about the City.

Someone asked how many “insiders” had applied. One from “inside” and two others that had dropped them by, replied Mayor Brookshire. City Administrator Hurst and Henline thought that the job opening should be posted so others would know.

Brookshire commented how each department is given an opportunity to notify about job openings or vacancies so other employees could apply.

Mayor Brookshire commented how they currently did not have anyone within the city that was certified in building codes inspection, although one applicant was certified in fire and life safety codes.

Brookshire thought that a person that did not have state certification could not issue building permits so David Denton would stay on if they hired someone without certification.

Mayor Brookshire gave pros and cons of hiring someone from “inside” that was familiar with city and roads and locations of projects or hiring someone from outside who was qualified, certified and experienced and would not need additional training.

Blackie Johnson commented how they presently had someone that was partially qualified. In the end, he decided to be fair to everyone and to advertise, and then they could look through applications and decide who could do the better job with a recommendation to City Council for hiring.

After all was said done, the Personnel Committee directed Lenoir City Administrator Dale Hurst to prepare an ad to run in the Sunday News Sentinel, local papers and the building inspection association trade magazine. The ad will run until Jan. 10th and be general in nature. Postings will be done in house as soon as possible

The Personnel Committee will look at applications and interview applicants and will try to make a recommendation by Jan. 28, 2008 council meeting.

Someone asked if Rick Chadwick had applied for the position and it was confirmed that he had applied. Rick Chadwick and Councilman Henline currently serve as Lenoir City school board members.

The Personnel Committee will also decide the Building Inspector’s salary range. Currently, the Building Inspector is paid over $51,000 plus benefits.  It was also said that the Building Inspector’s job does not fall under civil service protection.

According to public records, in the calendar year ending 2007, Lenoir City processed a total of 233 building permits.