It’s a codes equivalent of musical chairs.
The county has retained the services of Josh Baker, the city’s former codes supervisor, to conduct inspections until someone can be found to replace Nolan Ming, who left the county July 31 to accept a position as the city’s codes director.
The county’s Policy and Personnel Committee met Monday and approved hiring Baker.
“We have a young man named Josh Baker who works for the city who has agreed to accept the codes job on a temporary basis until we can get somebody hired,” said Commissioner Ken Martin, committee chairman. “This will allow us to continue to do permits and not have to call the state in at this time.”
Hiring someone temporarily will prevent local contractors from having to depend on the state for their inspection needs.
According to County Executive Herschel Wells, Baker will issue permits and conduct inspections of both residential and commercial buildings.
“He’ll do commercial, which the state wouldn’t do,” said Wells. “This is an emergency deal. He’ll do it for $50 an inspection. I looked back at when Jason Simmons quit. We took in about $3,200 and they paid him 75 percent of it and he didn’t do commercial. He only did residential.”
The county has advertised the open codes position and will be accepting applications until the end of August. Candidates do not have to have all the state certifications. If an individual without certifications is hired, they will be given one year to obtain them.
“I’m glad Josh has agreed to do this,” said Wells. “He has all the certifications.”
Commissioner Carlene Brown worked with Baker when she was the city’s Parks and Recreation director.
“This is excellent,” said Brown. “Nothing any better could have happened to the county than to have somebody who has the experience and has worked with our local contractors. He already has a good rapport with them.”
Wells added, “He does have a great rapport with them. He gets along with them. He knows how to talk with them. I wish we could get him full time, but he doesn’t want it. If he wanted full time, he would stay with the city.”
Baker works part time for the city and is one of the owners of Topz.
Martin questioned if Baker could be swayed to switch sides and come to work for the county full time, to which Wells added, “I doubt that.”
Committee members Martin, Brown, and Commissioner Tommy Savage voted unanimously to hire Baker to fill the position temporarily. Later that night, the full County Commission unanimously agreed.