Chief Building Official Job at Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz County, California

Chief Building Official

City of Santa Cruz , California

Job Information 


Planning and Community Development

Senior Level


$127,332.00 - $172,332.00 Annually

Application Deadline 


01/14/2021 05:00 PM PST

Recruitment Type 

Open Competitive


The Position

The above salary represents the regular salary for this position.  However, as a result of the financial impact to the City from the coronavirus pandemic, a 10% salary reduction and corresponding furlough is in effect through June 25, 2021 and will be re-evaluated prior to that date.

The current vacancy is in the Planning and Community Development Department.  The eligibility list established from this recruitment may be used to fill other Chief Building Official vacancies during the life of the list. The eligibility list established from this recruitment is valid for up to one year from the date established unless the list is extended or abolished by the Human Resource Director.

Under general direction, the Chief Building Official manages the Plan Review, Inspection Services, and Green Building functions of the Department of Planning and Community Development; trains and supervises division staff; monitors and coordinates the building permit process; oversees plan reviews and inspections to insure compliance with federal, state, and local regulations relating to construction and land use; and performs related work as assigned.

Recruitment # 21-038

Selection Timeline: (Note: The following process may be changed as deemed necessary by the Human Resources Director.)

On Thursday, 01/14/21 recruitment will close. All application materials must be received by the Human Resources Department by 5:00 pm; postmarks are not accepted.  (Please note: HR office will be closed through 01/03/21.) To apply, submit:
Application - online application only.  Resumes are not accepted in lieu of filling out the application form completely.  Click the Apply button to begin the online application process.
Response to supplemental questions - will be a primary tool in the evaluation of your qualifications for this position. Any work experience described here must also be included in your employment history on the main application.
Week of 01/18/21 and 01/25/21:  Applications will be competitively screened based on the minimum qualifications for this position.  The examination process may include an interview, written exam, and/or performance exam.

Typical Duties
(May include, but are not limited to, those duties listed below):

  • Plans, schedules and supervises the work of inspectors and other division person­nel; monitors inspection activities to assure high quality inspections and compliance with applicable federal, state, and local regulations.
  • Ensures that Division staff is provided with training and development to perform their duties in a technically competent manner and to meet pre-established standards.
  • Establishes and sustains a culture of personal and collective accountability within the Division; hires, trains and evaluates division personnel; monitors performance and provides feedback and coaching to employees; and encourages teamwork and collaboration.
  • Coordinates review of development applications, building permit plans, and inspection of field work with the zoning administrator.
  • Performs and oversees inspections for major projects.
  • Prepares ordinances and resolutions related to City building codes.
  • Within the parameters and priorities established by the Department Director, establishes the objectives, policies, organization structure, operating and staffing model for the Division to enable the Division to meet its goals.
  • Creates and sustains a culture of continuous business improvement within the Division to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of operations and to improve customer service and communications.
  • Develops recommendations for revisions and additions to the municipal code to improve plan check, green building, and inspection activities.
  • Checks plans and oversees staff checking plans for compliance with applicable federal, state, and local codes relating to construction.
  • Arranges and coordinates plan reviews and inspections conducted by outside contractors; monitors the quality of work performed by outside contractors.
  • Seeks code compliance where violations are discovered and coordinates with the zoning administrator and Code Compliance Division of the department in the pursuit of code enforcement.
  • Ensures that Division staff is provided with regular safety trainings.  
  • Issues stop work orders and citations, when appropriate.
  • Provides information regarding construction codes to other city departments and advises city departments on matters involving construction codes.
  • Provides information to the public about construction-related codes; assists architects, engineers, contractors and property owners in interpreting and meeting code requirements; responds to complaints and resolves more difficult inspection problems.
  • Prepares administrative and technical reports for the planning director, planning commission and City Council as assigned; writes correspondence related to building inspection functions.
  • Develops division policies and procedures related to building plan review and inspection as necessary for efficient operations; maintains adequate record keeping systems to assure compliance with construction codes, including clear records of authorized permit activity.
  • Prepares annual budget recommendations for the division; implements and moni­tors the approved budget throughout the fiscal year; maintains fiscal records regarding permit revenues and division expenditures.
  • Serves as staff to the Board of Building Appeals.  
  • Maintains current knowledge of developments in construction codes, inspection practices, new model codes, and state law relating to construction.
  • Represents the City, division, and/or the department in meetings with architects, contractors, homeowners, state and local officials, community groups, members of the public, and in court.
  • Works collaboratively with internal City partners to accomplish division and citywide goals and functions, including ensuring smooth and efficient functioning of the plan check and inspection services.
  • Responds to emergency situations after normal working hours, such as fires or buildings that have been impacted by vehicles or trees, to assess the safety of a building.
  • Performs other related duties that may be reasonably expected as part of this classification.


Position requires prolonged sitting, standing, walking, kneeling, squatting and stooping and reaching in the performance of daily activities. The position may also work on slippery uneven surfaces. The position requires repetitive hand movement and fine coordination in preparing reports using a computer keyboard. The position also requires acute near and far vision in reading written reports and work related documents and in the performance of daily duties. Acute hearing is required when providing phone and personal service. The incumbent may perform work outdoors in all weather conditions, including wet, hot and cold. The need to lift items weighing up to 25 pounds is also required. Some of these requirements may be accommodated for otherwise qualified individuals requiring and requesting such accommodations.

Minimum Qualifications

The minimum qualifications for Education, Experience, Knowledge, Skills and Abilities are the following:

Education and Experience:  

Bachelor's degree in structural, mechanical, or civil engineering; architecture; construction management; or a related field and,
Five (5) years of increasingly responsible experience in building inspection, plan check, engineering, construction, or a closely related field, including two years of supervision or management.

Eight (8) years total increasingly responsible work experience in building inspection and plan check or related experience that includes at least two of those years in building inspection or plan check supervision or management.

Licenses and Certificates

  • Possession at time of hire and continued maintenance of a valid California Class C driver's license.
  • Possession within one year of appointment and continued maintenance of certification as a Building Official by the Council of American Building Officials (CABO), International Code Council (ICC), or other recognized testing agency as determined by the Administrative Authority.  If a candidate does not possess a Building Official certification at time of application, then an ICC Building Inspector or ICC Building Plans Examiner certification shall be required at the commercial and residential level, as well as two additional certifications, unrelated by trade, noted in the desirable qualifications section below shall be required.   



  • Principles and practices of leadership, training and development, organizational administration, and personnel management and supervision.
  • Principles and practices of project management including developing and implementing project scopes, schedules, and program planning and implementation.
  • Principles of budget preparation, management and fiscal accounting.
  • All codes involved in construction, including uniform building, plumbing, electrical, mechanical, housing, energy, green building, and others.  
  • State and federal laws and regulations applicable to construction.
  • The principles, materials and methods used in building design and construction.
  • The legal procedures involved in code enforcement.


  • Apply organizational leadership and management skills including those related to communication, collaboration, strategic planning, problem-solving, decision-making and  planning and prioritizing.
  • Evaluate operational problems or situations, develop sound conclusions, and make effective decisions and/or recommendations.
  • Plan, coordinate, and direct the operations of the Division to achieve established goals.
  • Supervise personnel, administer discipline and conduct performance evaluations; assign and review work; ensures effective training and development, coaching, mentoring and succession planning
  • Implement work methods and procedures that promote a safe working environment and ensure proper staff training in work safety.
  • Develop effective operational and record keeping-systems.
  • Write clear and comprehensive reports and correspondence on administrative and technical issues.
  • Develop and control operational budgets.
  • Read and interpret blueprints and construction drawings.
  • Recognize and resolve problems and difficult situations that arise in plan check, inspections, and in interpersonal relations being sure to maintain cooperative working relationships.
  • Evaluate organizational functions and plan and implement modifications as needed.
  • Identify building code compliance requirements and make appropriate decisions regarding corrective actions.
  • Make effective oral presentations to individuals and groups.
  • Interpret, apply and explain construction-related codes, regulations, policies.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships and communication streams with other City staff, public officials, construction professionals, outside agencies and the public, demonstrating a courteous and cooperative approach.
  • Effectively communicate clear and logical explanations of complex building code and building inspection requirements, policies and decisions to the internal and external stakeholders in a courteous and effective manner, including the ability to effectively communicate to diverse audiences ranging from seasoned professionals in the industry to novices with no construction knowledge.
  • Operate computer programs such as permit tracking/processing, word processing, and spreadsheet software systems.


  • Possession and continued maintenance of the following commercial and residential certifications from the International Code Conference or other testing agency as determined  by the Administrative Authority:
    • Building Inspector
    • Building Plans Examiner
    • Electrical Inspector
    • Electrical Plans Examiner
    • Plumbing Inspector
    • Plumbing Plans Examiner
    • Mechanical Inspector
    • Mechanical Plans Examiner
    • Certified Access Specialist (CASp) certification
    • California municipal experience is highly desirable

Career Ladder

  • Chief Building Official
  • Deputy Building Official
  • Supervising Building Inspector / Supervising Plans Examiner
  • Sr. Building Inspector / Sr. Plans Examiner
  • Building Inspector / Assistant Plans Examiner


809 Center St., Room 6

Santa Cruz, CA 95060