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Posted on: August 17, 2020

Certified Permit Technician uses love of code to assist residents

Development specialist Dora Gomez works at the front desk

PHOTO: Development specialist Dora Gomez works at the front desk at the City of Victoria Development Center. Gomez holds a Permit Technician Certification from the International Code Council.

Spending hours a day researching building codes may not be most people’s idea of a good time, but development specialist Dora Gomez enjoys delving into the complex material.

“I love reading code,” Gomez said. “It gives me a greater understanding of my job and the building inspectors’ jobs, the legalities of what we do. I could read it all day long, and it keeps me interested.” 

Gomez’s passion for the ins and outs of permitting and building inspections is reflected in her Permit Technician Certification. The certification was created in 1998 by the International Code Council, and only about 3,000 people have managed to pass the rigorous certification exam.

“I consider our department very lucky to have one of the few people with this certification,” said Assistant Director of Development Rick Madrid. “She knows the answers to residents’ questions, and she can prove it.”

The knowledge Gomez acquired during her years of studying for the test comes into play on a daily basis. As one of Development Services’ front staff, she serves as the first point of contact for residents seeking permits for new construction or remodeling.

“We help to guide them from the application to the issuance of the permit,” Gomez said. “During that process, I get to see the legalities and the code all come together.”

Gomez recalls that when she first started working for the City, she felt overwhelmed by the complex terminology and knowledge her job required. However, as she began studying for the test, she came to love reading and staying informed about building codes.

Gomez said that Madrid, her mentor, was “tremendously” helpful, making himself available even on the weekends to answer her questions and help interpret code.

“Passing that test is no easy feat,” Madrid said. “The codes can be boring, but she really enjoys reading them.”

To schedule an appointment with a development specialist, call 361-485-3320.

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