CRESTVIEW — The only building official and license holder for the Crestview building department left Friday for a job in Pensacola.
Jonathan Bilby is the only person in the building department that is licensed to administrate and interpret the Florida Building Code.
“I can’t say that his leaving is not going to create a vacuum. He’s very valuable … The question is how quickly can we fill the position with a qualified individual,” council president J.B. Whitten said.
The department will be relying on qualified employees of Fort Walton Beach’s building department to assume Bilby’s responsibilities.
“The building official we’re going to rely on is very good at his job. We shouldn’t see any slowdowns as far as that goes,” Bilby said.
According to the agenda at the Aug. 13 city council meeting, Fort Walton Beach will be using electronic systems to review plans and will perform inspections via Skype or Facetime.
The agenda says, “The electronic transfer of files is the most efficient and cost-effective ways to accomplish the task.”
The city will be required to pay the building official from Fort Walton Beach $48 per hour and the inspector $25 per hour.
The inter-local agreement—a contract allowing local government agencies to perform joint operations—between Crestview and Fort Walton Beach passed 4-0 with Councilman Shannon Hayes missing from the council.
Bilby has been with the city since 2012 but decided to leave Crestview after receiving an offer for the Inspection Services Administrator position in Pensacola.
“It comes with a substantial pay increase. It’s a chance to manage a larger jurisdiction, and then, I will actually be closer to home because I live in Navarre,” Bilby said.