The state Fire Commission is close to appointing a hearing examiner in the case involving the complaints against the City of Clarksburg's Code Enforcement Office.
The legal counsel for the commission has named Jeff Blaydes as a willing candidate for the job. This, according to Lawrence Messina, Spokesperson with the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, does not make it official yet.
"I expect that to happen [Thursday] or [Friday], once the matter is brought to the Fire Commission's Vice Chairman."
Messina said Blaydes has previous experience in handling such matters.
"Mr. Blaydes has previously served as a hearing examiner for the Lottery Commission, the Racing Commission and, I believe, other public bodies," he said.
The first responsibility for the new hearing examiner will be to set a date for a public hearing and then to determine how many hearings will be needed based on the details of the case.
"There are tens of thousands of pages of documents in this case," Messina said. "It may turn out to be lengthy process. I was told his initial impression was to hold one or more hearings in August and, or early September."
In the meantime, the city of Clarksburg is without a code enforcement office and residents have found it to be inconvenient.
"I've received more numerous complaints, or more numerous contacts over the last few days from individuals who say they are trying to accomplish things but cannot because the building office in Clarksburg is presently shut down," Messina said. "Folks trying to build a sporting goods store, folks trying to renovate a restaurant, someone trying to fix his sidewalk so he can sell his house in September."
City officials are attempting to make the whole process go quickly and legally. Meetings have been held between representatives from the city and legal representatives to find ways they can adjust the city's building code ordinance to align with the state requirements.
"The solution lies with the city amending it's code so it complies with state law and ensuring only certified individuals are hired to enforce the code," Messina said.
The city has put out a job posting for a new Code Enforcement Officer. The ad lists in the qualifications "College degree, construction trade certifications/license(s) and/or some knowledge of ICC Building Codes preferred. The successful applicant MUST pass a minimum of one certification exam within six months of employment."