by Amie Sites
Bill Drinkwine has adjusted since he became the Logansport building commissioner in October after Jim Bacon left the position.
Drinkwine, who is from upstate New York, came to Indiana in 1989 after working as a senior construction manager in Massachusetts.
He met his wife, Deb, when he came to Indiana and he has a son named Brandon Collins. Drinkwine was in the U.S. Navy from 1972 to 1976.
As building commissioner, Drinkwine said he has been busy dealing with new permit applications, reviewing design drawings for new projects to make sure they fit criteria for building codes, inspecting ongoing projects, preparing report for weekly board of works meeting, dealing with vacant, abandoned properties and working with the owners of those properties and defining new codes and ordinances.
“It’s been enjoyable working to improve the city and creating better communication between the public and building and code enforcement department,” Drinkwine said. “I’m really trying to be helpful and communicate with the public and let them know we’re here for them.”
Drinkwine has been a licensed real estate broker since 2001 and has worked in construction since 1974. In 2008, Drinkwine was managing owner for a consultant business, Integration Consultation, LLC and started a deconstruction company in 2011, Rebuild Green Solutions, which his son now runs.
Mayor Ted Franklin said Drinkwine is doing a great job.
“The guys is over-qualified,” Franklin said. “He has a resume that is out of this world and he has brought so many ideas to this position.”
Franklin said he is in the building every morning during the week between 6 and 6:30 a.m. and he sometimes runs into Drinkwine on the stairwell.
“He’s not one of those guys who watches the clock,” Franklin said. “He comes early and stays late. It’s great to have someone on our team with a work ethic like his.”
Drinkwine said some aspects have been challenging.
“Working with the public is not impossible but sometimes difficult,” Drinkwine said. “I’m starting to see there is a nature I refer to as “not me” attitude where people want everyone else to follow rules but not themselves. In general, people have been cooperative.”
Drinkwine said he’s still working to learn the true position. One of the aspects of his job is requiring landlords in the city to register as landlords. Contractors are also required to register.
“I’ve never been a politician and that’s a side I have to work on,” Drinkwine said. “I’ve always learned if you put a foot forward that is clear and fair, it’s up to the public to come forward.”
Each week, Drinkwine prepares a report for the Logansport board of public works and he said working with the board has been good.
“The administration and board have desire, as I do, to better the community,” Drinkwine said. “The mayor has worked to take action on vacant properties in town and that is a similar desire we have.”
Franklin said Drinkwine is firm but fair and works with landlords to give them an opportunity to fix their property by showing good faith and asking them to show intention of fixing the property.
As he moves forward, Drinkwine said he would like to see ordinances and construction projects focused on.
“I plan to keep an eye on construction projects and where I can make the city of Logansport better,” Drinkwine said. “I also would like to get people in the public to understand what we’re doing.”