North STAR

North STARs are awarded to outstanding leaders. The North STAR winner is:

Patrick Higgins, building official
Development Services, Community Planning and Economic Development Department

Development Services Director Steve Poor nominated Higgins for his tireless dedication to ensuring life safety in the built environment:

“During his tenure as a building official, Pat has overseen the review and construction of the Twins and Vikings stadiums, two of the most complex engineering and construction projects in the history of the City. Both buildings employed cutting edge engineering technology and green construction elements. Many of those construction elements are not yet addressed in the building code and required critical analysis and interpretations. Due to Higgins' effort on these projects, we now have two state-of-the-art facilities.

“The Minnesota government shut down after failing to pass a budget during the summer of 2011. This left a very concerning service gap, as electrical inspections in Minneapolis were a state function and were no longer being performed. Higgins quickly put together a City electrical inspection program, which included an ordinance change; changes to the permitting, licensing and inspections system KIVA; hiring temporary electrical inspectors; and getting the inspectors trained on City systems.

“Higgins has been a foundation of continuity through three reorganizations and 12 management changes during his time as building official. Through all those changes, he has maintained a business unit that has performed at a high level of excellence while maintaining the morale of staff through these changes.

“Higgins has created promotional opportunities including the senior inspector program. He has encouraged and supported these opportunities by providing ongoing training and certifications for staff. He has also been a strong proponent of diverse hiring and promotions.

“Higgins leads by example when it comes to engagement. He was instrumental in bringing the International Code Council Convention to Minneapolis in 2008. He has been a force in national code development, particularly in high rise buildings. He was nominated by the governor to sit on the Construction Codes Advisory Committee. He fosters an environment of transparency and open communication and holds regular section-wide meetings and picnics, and has an open door policy in his office.”

Published Nov 1, 2016

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