Pittsburgh again needs new building inspector

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Sergei Matveiev, head of Pittsburgh's Bureau of Building Inspection, has resigned effective Nov. 20, he said today.

His departure continues three years of turnover at the top of the bureau in charge of approving construction plans and enforcing housing codes.

Chief Matveiev, 42, said he is leaving because he got "a terrific opportunity" to serve as a code official for Plans Examiners Inc., and later to become managing director of that company's emerging architectural subsidiary. He is a registered architect.

Plans Examiners Inc. handles building code duties for smaller municipalities that choose not to have on-staff building inspectors.

Former Chief Ron Graziano's resignation was requested by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl in June 2007 and accepted that September. He was replaced by Daniel Cipriani, who served in an acting basis until October 2008, when Chief Matveiev got the job. Turnover at the top was cited by the state-picked Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority as one of the difficulties faced by the bureau.

"I certainly thought about that, but I'm sure that [the city will] find a way to bridge that and ensure some continuity," said Chief Matveiev.

During his tenure, the bureau got city cars for its inspectors, filled around half of its vacancies, boosted continuing education, started toward web-based permitting and began to administer a rental registration ordinance that has been stayed as a result of court challenges.

"All in all, we've come a long way in a year," he said.

Administration plans to find a new chief were not immediately available.

Rich Lord can be reached at rlord@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1542.


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