Letter to the editor - Irving
In response to the “Privatization vs. Public Service” article in the March 4, 2009 issue: My name is Theresa Irving and my official title is Arenac County Building Department Clerk, not Administrator, however my next direct supervisor is the Board of Commissioners. This is my clarification/rebuttal to that piece.
1. New employee hired July 24, 2008 after public support shown to keep department open (mtg minutes confirm). Prior clerk retired.
2. Excitement of new employee to do well, promote the department, its new crew and enhanced community service. In that effort…
3. Meet and greet townships so the public can put a face to a name, offer our services (inspectors and clerk) with commissioner. These visits include municipalities both in and out of our jurisdiction. We brought our applications to go over rates; happy to discuss costs of projects. Our rates are very competitive. There was absolutely no misleading information presented. On the contrary, the rates mentioned in the article are erroneous – our department was not asked to provide numbers. Please come into the office and/or call. An example: Electrical, Mechanical and Plumbing is $35 an inspection and $35 administration fee. The Building rates are $.23 square foot but include plan review and energy code review with insulation inspection.
4. Newest services include updated computer software ready for full implementation shortly, applications available online from county website, standard service is 2 inspectors available two times per week in office for public questions and code requirement knowledge (help with specifications code says your project must meet). Inspectors are basically “on-call” in our off hours, their cell phone numbers are available through three different sources. Inspections happen in off hours and weekends too.
5. Rate increase (1st since 1993) do you purchase anything today at 1993 prices? Took effect May 1, 2008 inside of a national economic crisis and needs a little time to affect the budget. 2008 was a non-conventional year, just to say $19,000 is not an accurate picture.
6. Our department is fair, honest, competitive and far from obsolete! Come see us; we welcome your visit!