Friday marked the last day on the city payroll for Steve Tibbles, the city’s building official, who starts a new job this week in Waukee. City leaders thanked Tibbles for his service at Monday’s meeting of the Perry City Council.
Perry City Administrator Sven Peterson said it was a “sad thing” when Tibbles put in his two-week notice Sept. 16. “Friday was his last day,” Peterson said, “and a lot of us were with him to celebrate his new start down in Waukee on Friday at a luncheon. I just wanted publicly to thank Steve for his seven years of work with the city.”
With the stage set for a boom in residential home building in Perry, Tibbles’ job issuing construction permits is crucial, as Peterson noted at the meeting.
“He helped out a lot of different departments and people in a lot of different ways, so he’ll definitely be missed,” he said. “Even today there was quite a void in city hall without him. I’m learning how to do building permits, so that’s been interesting.”
In his position as Perry’s building official, Tibbles was responsible for issuing building permits and conducting building inspections, including the city’s recently established regime of rental inspections.
In order to cover some of Tibbles’ duties until the city finds a new building official, the Perry City Council voted Monday night to hire Safe Building Compliance and Technology, a Slater company specializing in building code inspections and enforcement for government agencies.
“I think that Safe Building Compliance and Technology will do great in the interim,” said Perry Finance Officer Susie Moorhead. “Residents will need to complete the building permit application, and then we will collect the fees and submit it to Safe Building. They will handle the inspections. After they approve it, we will issue the permit.”
The Perry Volunteer Fire Department will conduct rental inspections in the interim.
Tibbles also served as administrative secretary for both the Perry Planning and Zoning Commission and the Perry Zoning Board of Adjustment. The planning and zoning commission hears all requests to review plans, plats or re-plats of subdivisions or re-subdivisions of land within Perry and a two-mile corridor of the city. The commission also reviews and comments on any planned improvements to streets and parks.
The zoning board of adjustment hears all citizens’ appeals of the building official’s decisions.
Tibbles also wore the hat of the city’s compliance officer, enforcing the Perry Code of Ordinances governing nuisance abatement, junk and junk vehicles, grass and weeds and snow removal.
As a public servant, Tibbles was not above getting his hands dirty and doing the tough jobs other city workers shrank from, such as hanging turkey vulture carcasses from public and private trees in an effort to discourage their roosting in town.
Perry Mayor Jay Pattee also thanked Tibbles for his service to the people of Perry.
“Whenever an employee moves on, we always want to say thank you for their service and their time,” Pattee said. “That was a nice party that we had, a little get-together luncheon with Steve the other day. It was well attended, and I believe he felt pretty good about it.”
Tibbles was unavailable for comment Monday.