Working in a city's building safety department often means sharing the vision of those who want to build, says Glendale Building Safety Official Stephen Dudley.
"I love being part of the process that turns people's ideas and dreams into real building projects," Dudley told the Glendale Sun. "This has been true throughout my entire career of 40 years. The goal is to create buildings that are functional and artistic. They should be beautiful environments in which to live and work, and they should enhance our city."
Dudley has worked in Glendale's building division for more than 22 years, starting as a development services representative in 1997.
"Working as a licensed architect for 17 years, I had a background in design and construction," Dudley said. "I have worked for the City of Glendale for over 20 years in various roles at the Building Safety Department. I was promoted to the Building Official position in 2014."
As building official, Dudley supervises the city's building safety division staff, which includes development services, plans examiners, cross connection and building inspectors. He also manages an annual budget of about $1.9 million.
"The greatest challenge is maintaining a balance between my regulatory role as a code official while ensuring that our customers' building projects keep moving," he said. "My primary responsibility is the safety of Glendale’s residents in their homes and buildings. But, I also place strong emphasis on economic growth through development."
Anyone considering a career in building safety should start outside of government service, Dudley said.
"If someone is considering working in government building code enforcement, they should work in the private sector first—either in the design or construction industry," he said. "This provides an individual with a true understanding of how the construction industry really works."