Avondale wants to create ‘concierge’ for permitting

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt July 22, 2014
Avondale Estates City Commissioners share a laugh during the Jan. 27 City Commission meeting. Photo by: Dan Whisenhunt

Avondale Estates City Commissioners share a laugh during the Jan. 27 City Commission meeting. File Photo by: Dan Whisenhunt

The city of Avondale Estates recently took over permitting duties from DeKalb County, and the mayor says it has made the process easier.

But Mayor Ed Rieker thinks the city can do more. That’s why he’s pushing for the creation of a City Permitting Concierge position. Rieker first proposed the idea at a work session in April.

“I’m envisioning a person who is in this role as more of a concierge as an advocate for the permittee,” Rieker explained.

Commissioners will discuss the new position at their July 23 work session, which begins at 5:30 pm. The agenda packet includes a draft job description.

“The City Permitting Concierge is responsible for answering questions and assisting permittees, processing building permit applications, scheduling inspection requests, and routing plans for zoning/plan review for commercial/residential to appropriate City staff,” the job description says.

It does not say what the salary range might be. The minimum education required is a high school diploma and “Some experience in issuing permits/permitting processes and development services preferred.”

During the meeting, Mayor Pro Tem Terry Giager asked why those duties couldn’t be outsourced to the company that handles the city’s permitting.

“To me it seems like it would be a logical choice, plus it would save us as a city the salary plus benefits,” Giager said.

“What we’re contemplating doing is probably beyond the scope of what they can offer,” Rieker replied.

To see the job description for the City Permitting Concierge, click here and scroll down to page six.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of Decaturish.com. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danwhisenhunt

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  • Patsy Neal

    What a poor choice of words from the Mayor of Avondale Estates: “…this role as more of a concierge, as an advocate for the permittee.” An advocate for an applicant is called a ‘permit expeditor’ and is employed by the applicant, not government. Does the Mayor really mean the City would like to pay a permit expeditor with tax dollars? This certainly would be beneficial for the Mayor’s own projects at Tudor Square.

  • AEresident

    This is BS! Avondale
    Estates keeps adding job after job and keeps raising our taxes and yet the
    services remain the same. A permit concierge. Ha! So the city hired a code
    enforcement officer. Then a city planner/economic development director. Then a
    communications director who apparently cannot speak to the media (but does the
    electronic newsletter that tells you nothing about what the city is actually
    doing) and now you want a permit concierge. So why cannot the city planner
    handle permits? Or the city clerk? Or the receptionist? Or the oh-so-qualified
    public works director? Or the code enforcement officer who drive around in a
    honking big truck instead of a golf cart or some other environmental friendly
    vehicle. Avondale Estates has more employees on its payroll per capita than any
    other similar sized city the state, according to Georgia Department of
    Community Affairs data. And according to the city charter, the city clerk is
    supposed to be the treasurer, too, but yet the city has a finance director who
    reports not to the city clerk, but the city manager. And I love the comment
    where Mayor Rieker says the company the city outsourced permitting to isn’t
    really equipped to meet the needs of the anticipated permit concierge
    position. Folks, here’s how it works … building and other permits carry fees,
    and those fees are supposed to cover the cost of the services provided. So if
    you’re going to add a permit concierge, you had best plan to be hiking
    permit fees and not my taxes. And if you do the latter, you just as well as
    kiss development good-bye because AE will make it too expensive to do business
    in the city.

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