Hooves-ray and COWngratulations to Curtis Clark!

January 21, 2009

We want to belatedly offer our COWngratulations to longtime Woodside Staff member Curtis Clark who was named as the Building Official, effective October 30th. Susan George reported the news at the November 25th COWncil meeting, and at that meeting the Town Municipal Code was finally amended to create a separate Building Official position.

As we’ve reported more than three years ago, the Town has been without a proper Building Official for quite a long time. Under the ordinance in place at the time, the Town Planner was designated as the Town’s Building Official. As we explained in that article, the then Town Planner, Hope Sullivan, didn’t qualify under State law for that position. Even after our article brought the problem to light, the COWncil and Town Manager Susan George did nothing to fix that glaring illegality.

State law requires that, with limited exceptions, building officials have at least a year of experience in the appropriate field and to get certification from a recognized building official association. Most Planners, including, Jackie C. Brown, the Town’s recently appointed Planning Director, do not have the appropriate qualifications. So the Town has finally decided to comply with State Law. That’s good, if not terribly timely.

According to Susan George, Mr. Clark has completed all coursework and examinations required by the International Code Council for the fulfillment of the Building Official position. Because of that, she wrote, “Now that the Town has a certified building official, it is an appropriate time to add the position to the Municipal Code.” Apparently the Town felt no desire or urgency to hire a Building Official during the many years it was violating the law.

The new provision of the Code (31.37, superseding 31.36) reads: “The Town Building Official shall have, in addition to any of the other duties assigned to him/her, the duty to enforce any of the provisions of this Code or any other ordinance of the Town, or any rule, regulation, or order promulgated or issued pursuant to this Code, or to the provisions of any code adopted by reference by this Code.”

What we think that mouthful means is that Woodside just got a new properly qualified top building cop. We have high expectations that Curtis Clark will do a good, reasoned, and ethical job. We wish him the best of luck in his new position.

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