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New chief building official is longtime resident

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Kevin Gattis, the new chief building official for the Carson City Public Works Development Services Building and Safety, replaced Phil Herrington following his retirement.
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Kevin Gattis was named as Carson City’s chief building official, replacing Phil Herrington, who retired.

Gattis came to Carson City from the building department in Lake Tahoe, where he worked for 12 years, three of which were spent as the department supervisor. He served as Carson’s deputy building official for several months before moving into the supervisory job in January.

“It’s nice to be able to work where I live,” Gattis said of the considerably shorter commute to work he has now. He has lived in Carson for 18 years.

Also important, he said, “is to get out in the field to see what’s going on.”

Gattis is married and has a teenage son. In his free time he enjoys hunting, fishing, woodworking and also devotes time to his local chapter of the Nevada Fire Safe Council.

What do you like about your job?

I like this job because it’s a continuous challenge. I like helping staff with training. I like to see projects come to a close with good results. I enjoy working with the public as well as city staff. This is great group of people to work with.

What do you dislike about your job?

In the year’s time I’ve been here, some frustrations are similar to those I had in Lake Tahoe. Frustration with some of the adopted codes in that the public and design professionals have a hard time understanding them. Sometimes the codes aren’t written that clearly.

What is the biggest challenge in doing this job?

Keeping up with all of the changes in the construction industry. And keeping everyone in the construction industry informed of these changes.

What would you like to change?

We’re currently looking at modifying the plan submittal and routing process. I think we can do it and provide a smoother, more accurate process in the long term.

What impressed you the most?

That many of the processes in place already are fine. We will review the evaluation process for structures again for ease of use – so it won’t take up so much staff time and be easier to understand. It’s not being done to raise fees, it’s to revise the process. The people I’ve had the opportunity to meet here in the city and construction industry have been very positive. They are excited about change and are moving forward, but doing so correctly through codes and so forth. And BAWN (Builders’ Association of Western Nevada). It’s a very beneficial group to the city and building community.

What do you think about the city’s permitting process?

It’s customer friendly. The issue always at hand is turnaround time for the customers so they can get to work on their projects. I like the One-Stop Shop. It’s a good set-up and beneficial to the public.

What are the differences between Carson City and Lake Tahoe?

Carson City has had a lot of discussion about redevelopment of downtown and with that comes a lot of challenges, too – such as getting co-compliance with the older structures. The main thing driving it is the freeway. But one difference I see between Carson and Tahoe: The Lake Tahoe basin is heavily regulated through environmental agencies and building moratoriums.