Los Alamos County’s Chief Building Official Michael Arellano began his new job Feb. 13. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/ladailypost.com
Los Alamos County’s new Chief Building Official, Michael Arellano, said working as a building official wasn’t a choice … it was fate.
“It was my path. I didn’t choose it. It chose me and I love it … wouldn’t have it any other way,” Arellano said.
Although he just started on the job Feb. 13, Arellano praised his co-workers and other County staff. “Everyone is so friendly. It’s a great place to be,” he said.
As the building official, Arellano said he supervises the permit technician, conducts permit reviews and interprets the building code. If someone wants to build a house or do a remodel, Arellano said, they start at the front desk. The house or the remodel will be reviewed for life and safety issues and then a permit will be issued. When the project is underway, inspectors will make sure it is built for safety and to code.
Arellano explained that working in Los Alamos is “bringing me back home.” He grew up and went to school in Cuba, N.M. “It feels great,” he said. “I grew up on these mountains. It feels great. I love it up here. What’s not to like?”
Before working in Los Alamos, Arellano said he worked as a building official in Wheatridge, Colo., Coppell, Texas and Rio Rancho.
Arellano said some of the challenges the County faces in Los Alamos are the shortage of housing. More people are needing housing, he explained. Still, Arellano said the County’s economic development division is doing a great job addressing the housing need.
He added it also helps that the County has a good team. “For just being here four days, everyone is just so friendly and helpful,” Arellano said. Adding, “I think this is a great opportunity that the County has provided me and I’m blessed to have the opportunity.”
When not in the office, Arellano said he enjoys being in the great outdoors, saying he likes to fish, ski, hunt and ride his Harley motorcycle. “I love the outdoors,” he said.