Emotions Run High Following Pulaski County Building Inspector Appointment

Pulaski County CourthouseThe Pulaski County Commissioners have named a new building inspector/plan director, but the decision does not come without a bit of questioning on the legality of doing so.

Interviews for the position took place on Friday in Executive Session. The Pulaski County Commissioners voted 2-1 during their meeting on Monday to approve the hiring of Doug Hoover to fill the position; made vacant earlier this year. Commissioner Larry Brady was the dissenting vote.

The decision to make the appointment was immediately met with counterpoints by Pulaski County CDC Executive Director Nathan Origer – who cited the county’s recently adopted Unified Development Ordinance.

“The Board of Zoning Appeals staff shall be the plan administrator,” says Origer. “They defer the discretion to hire the zoning administrator to the Plan Commission because there is one budget for both departments and the BZA does not have a separate budget. Under the ordinance, the plan administrator is to be hired by the Plan Commission.”

At issue is that very interpretation of local ordinance and how it complements, or feuds, with state statute. The conversation turned heated with arguments continuing later into the meeting. Commissioner Bud Krohn, Jr. exited the room during the initial phase of discussion.

The CDC discussed, during their most recent meeting, the possibility of introducing a proposal to the Plan Commission to name Origer as plan director, separate from the building inspector. The idea is to improve communication and better manage land use decisions between the two bodies.

Any set of plans presented followed earlier, informal conversations between Origer and Commission President Terry Young. Speaking to Origer during Monday night’s meeting, Young says the ideas were not completed at the time.

“For the record, I told you in your office that might be a good idea,” says Young. “Nothing was set in stone. Nothing was set in stone.”

The Commissioners, by taking action on Monday night to make the appointment for the two offices, concluded they have finalized the decision. Reasons behind the proposals’ failure to garner sufficient support were not fully addressed, Monday night.

Still, Commissioner Larry Brady sought to further investigate the matter. He says the Commission should have considered entertaining the Plan Commission’s input on the matter.