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Unsung Heroes: Week of June 29
Inspection Team Heroes
COVID-19 and evolving shelter-in-place rules have challenged many City operations, and for the Building Division inspection team, it was essential to quickly pivot to new ways of working so that San Jose’s construction projects — collectively valued at roughly $1.7 billion in 2019-20 — could move forward while protecting inspectors who enter the field to do their work.
This is where three unsung heroes in the Building Division stepped up: Bill Mayne, Marc Garcia, and Azelia Barandar. Marc and Bill are both division managers on the inspection services team, and Azelia is a principal office specialist. Working tirelessly, these three — with the support of supervisors and team members — pulled together the new procedures to keep inspectors working efficiently.
“Inspection assignment is already a fairly complex process in a 180-square mile city with diverse developments,” said Bill. “COVID-19 layered on the need for safety trainings, provision of personal protective equipment (PPE), tracking sites where construction workers may have tested positive, and adjusting workflows accordingly. We’re a very customer-centric operation and so we quickly implemented safety trainings and efficient PPE distribution.”
“We also embraced new technologies that help with social distancing needs, such as remote video inspections that are appropriate for some residential projects, and digitization of inspection notices, allowing us to work more effectively within the rules of the County Public Health order,” said Marc. Azelia, who was resoundingly nominated by her colleagues as an unsung hero, has handled the nuts and bolts of PPE ordering and distribution as well as daily report generation. “The most important thing I do daily is to greet the inspectors each morning and supply their PPE that keeps them safe. I’m able to keep myself safe and we are all able to return to our families safe and healthy.”
“These staff and the entire inspection team have done an incredible job to keep construction moving forward in San Jose. Between May 4 and June 12, this team has handled nearly 15,000 inspections,” said Rosalynn Hughey, director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement. “We’re thankful for their ability to adapt and very proud of their work.”
Customers have taken note, too, of the inspection team efforts. “We’ve received letters of kudos from a number of developers and permit customers,” said Rosalynn. “In fact, one of our customers nominated these staff for unsung heroes.”
Thank you to Bill, Marc, Azelia and the entire inspection team who have been instrumental in keeping construction projects moving forward!