Code officials are in a uniquely difficult situation. Imagine if you will a building department in the year 2013. All such departments have been “downsized” due to the unfortunate downturn in construction. The staff is so small; everyone is working to 115 percent capacity as it is. Suddenly and without warning construction begins to pick up. Does this lack of staff liberate you from your sworn duty to protect the public? No it doesn’t. Obviously, you want to do an exceptional job or you would not be reading this.

So, there you are with half the staff you had back in 2006 and a rapidly increasing workload. Your employees are stressed; your customers (the public) begin to be discontent. Citizens complain to their elected officials — your bosses. Elected officials then put pressure on you, raising your stress level.  What can possibly help? The Uniform Evaluation Service exists to assist you in leveraging departmental resources. 

On the other hand, imagine if your jurisdiction was just a stick in the mud and didn’t allow building innovation because there isn’t enough staff available. Where would the new construction go?