Thomas O’Kelly first African American director of building code enforcement

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thomas O’Kelly, a longtime county employee with building code enforcement, now is the first African American to hold the position of department director.
O’Kelly assumed the role of director in early January following Pete Bogle’s departure in December.
“I’ve been with the county 17 years and five months,” O’Kelly said. “I was interim (director) for months, so I knew basically what the position consisted of.”
The department has been without a leader several times in the past, O’Kelly said, and he always has stepped in.
O’Kelly said he and staff will continue to work to make sure the buildings in Rowan County are safe for occupants.
“My goal is to make sure that we serve anyone who purchases a permit with the best customer service and the best inspection that we can possibly give them,” O’Kelly said.