|Monocchio Named Building Commissioner|
|Filling the void left by Richard Rodriguez's flight to the Department of Aviation, the Chicago Department of Buildings has a new commissioner. Richard Monocchio, who had been serving as the acting commissioner since Rodriguez's departure last April, testified before the Committee on Buildings on December 16 and was confirmed at the full City Council meeting the following day.
Monocchio stated that as Commissioner he would like to make sure that public safety becomes the top priority for the department. He also wants to improve customer service and create a bigger presence and expansion online for the Department of Buildings.
When pressed by Alderwoman Sharon Dixon about cooperation between the Departments of Housing and Buildings, Monocchio responded by saying he would link those two departments much more closely, and that he would make sure permits get approved quickly and efficiently.
Before the full council, Monocchio also addressed the bribery and fraud problems that have plagued the department. He said that expediters will need to secure inspections exclusively by email, after which an inspector will be randomly assigned. He also suggested using GPS to track inspectors and daily review of inspection reports by department supervisors.
"By increasing the transparency, putting it online and randomizing the process," Monocchio said, "we have done what we need to do as a government to protect the integrity of the department."