Note from the CEO/Executive Director — City of Dallas, Texas, cuts about 36% of building inspection staff

In the September/October editorial, I wrote that the Dallas Morning News had reported that the city of Dallas would not cut code enforcement departments in balancing the budget. It was my impression from that article that “building inspectors—electrical, plumbing, mechanical, and building—and fire inspectors were specifically singled out as those that would NOT be cut.” Unfortunately, this information was incorrect. After reading the editorial, Carl Thompson, with the city of Dallas, sent the following information.

  • Uniformed personnel (police and fire) received no cuts
  • Code Enforcement received no cuts. In the city of Dallas, this department does not include construction codes (building, electrical, plumbing, and mechanical) but rather focuses on local housing codes (i.e., high weeds, junk motor vehicles, substandard structures, certificates of occupancy, etc.)
  • The Department of Building Inspections (which includes building, electrical, plumbing, mechanical, and sign inspectors) has been greatly cut, with several receiving termination notices. These cuts equate to approximately 36% reduction of the building inspection staff.

It seems that Dallas has not gotten the Blue Sky message after all. We shall have to increase our efforts to provide jurisdictions with more information about the importance of trained inspectors.

James W. Carpenter
Former IAEI CEO and Executive Director, and Editor-in-Chief for the IAEI News, James Carpenter was previously the chief electrical engineer, state electrical inspector for the Engineering Division of the Office of State Fire Marshal, North Carolina Department of Insurance. He had been with the department for twenty years, with twenty years electrical experience prior to coming to the state. He was a member of CMP-2 from 1987 to 2002 and was chairman for the last three cycles. He has been a member of IAEI since 1972. He was also a member of NFPA and is serving as the TCC chair and on the Standards Council. He was on the UL Electrical Council.