South Bend has a new Code Enforcement director. Mayor Pete Buttigieg named Randy Wilkerson to the position earlier this week.
It was only last July that Wilkerson joined the city’s workforce as the chief inspector for Code Enforcement. He has served as the interim director for the department since October.
Prior to Wilkerson’s employment in city government he was a project manager in the construction industry. He is also a former operations manager for TriState Habitat for Humanity, according to a city press release.
“Randy brings wide-ranging experience that already has been a great asset to the City,” Mayor Buttigieg said in a statement. “The department has made major progress since Randy’s arrival, and now as Director of Code Enforcement, he will continue to play a key role in making the department more efficient and effective.”
Code Enforcement is a key component in the mayor’s “1,000 Houses in 1,000 Days” initiative. The program aims to rehabilitate or demolish 1,000 abandoned properties before the end of his first term. The city says that nearly 800 houses have been addressed so far with roughly eight months to go before the self-imposed deadline.
Wilkerson — who officially assumed the role as director last Monday — holds a key city position in an office that has seen its share of drama in recent months.
Former chief code inspector Brian Haygood filed an age discrimination lawsuit against the city last fall, alleging that he and other city employees were fired due to their age.
As reported in the South Bend Tribune in October, Haygood alleged that former Code Enforcement director Shubhada Kambli told him that the city was “moving in a different direction and intended to bring in younger people to replace the older workers.”
Now the job falls on Wilkerson to move the department forward.
Image Credit: Kool Cats Photography, flickr