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Building division: We want to be more accountable
City of Manteca Chief Building Inspector Michael Hosier leads a forum during Thursday’s open house conducted in the city council chambers. - photo by HIME ROMERO
The City of Manteca’s Building Safety Division hosted its first-ever open house Thursday in the Council Chambers.

For Chief Building Official Michael Hosier, this was an opportunity for developers, contractors and the public to become acquainted with members of his staff along with some high-tech changes in the department.

Gone are the days when building plans sat on piles of other plans without any definite time tables. Today, the department has permit technicians who immediately scan the sets of plan. This allows for developers and contractors to keep up on any latest development online.

“We’re here to serve the public,” said Hosier, who is a contractor by trade. “We want to be problem solvers and not problem makers.”

The Building Safety Division held the open house in conjunction with Building Safety Week. Those attending had a chance to fill out a questionnaire on the department.

“We want to be accountable,” Hosier said.

Other changes in store include each of the trucks being outfitted with wireless computers set in real time, thus, enabling customers to link up to the very latest development via a pin number in the coming months.

According the city website, the Building Safety Division provides assistance to contractors, developers, design professionals, and property owners to ensure that any work performed within the city limits meets current city and state requirements for building safety. Such goals are achieved by performing plan check, issuing building permits, and inspecting work in the field.

For home owners, the division handles backyard swimming pools; re-roofing projects; detached residential garage or accessory building; attached patio covers; fences and retaining walls; signs; and any residential additions. Handouts were available at the open house and can be accessed on the city website (

Mike Mazur, who is a senior building inspector, noted that customer service is a No.1 priority.

Building permit technician Janet Robinson agreed.

“We’re the first contact with the public. We’ll also try to educate them,” she said.

One such way includes the free electrical class offered each Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at 325 N. Main St. “All you need is a code book,” said Hosier, who is also planning for more open house events in the coming months.

Hosier sent out thousands of e-mails to developers, contractors and the public about the open house.

“It’s no longer our way or the highway,” he said.

Instead, the Building Safety Division relies on cooperative effort involving the latest in technology and further supported by a trained and qualified staff.