News Flash


Posted on: July 24, 2018

New Chief Building Official Appointed

City of Santa Rosa Planning and Economic Development

The City of Santa Rosa has announced that Jesse Oswald has been selected as the Chief Building Official for the City of Santa Rosa, starting, July 23, 2018.

Oswald was selected through a nationwide recruitment following the retirement of Mark Setterland, who served as the City’s Chief Building Official for the past 4 years. Oswald served as Acting Chief Building Official from April to June in 2017 and from August 2017 to January of this year, a period that included the Sonoma County wildfires that greatly impacted the region, destroying 5 percent of Santa Rosa’s housing stock. Oswald served as the Chief Building Official for the Resilient City Rebuilding Permit Center, a special office created specifically for fire recovery and rebuilding efforts. To date and under his efforts, this special permitting program has led to 7 homes rebuilt, 397 under construction, 120 with a permit issued, and 312 currently in permit review—an unprecedented turnaround for a response of this size and magnitude.

“Jesse has been instrumental in establishing key policies and direction for the Resilient City Rebuilding Permit center,” said Planning & Economic Development Director David Guhin. “His dedication, creative thinking, and professionalism during his tenure—especially in response to the wildfires— made him the top candidate in our eyes, and his years of exemplary service to the city only strengthened our belief in him. He will be a key part as we move forward with the rebuild and development of the city.”

Oswald brings over 13 years of city government experience to the role, including serving as Permit Intake Manager for the City of Santa Rosa. He previously worked as Acting Chief Building Official and held various fire and building inspector roles for the City of Merced prior to joining Santa Rosa in 2013.

“I’m incredibly excited and thankful for the opportunity to start this next phase with Santa Rosa,” said Oswald. “It’s an incredible, resilient community that has stood strong in some difficult times. I’m confident city officials, commercial developers, and residents will continue to work well together as we rebuild and as the city grows, and I’m looking forward to contributing my best to those efforts.”

A Desert Shield and Desert Storm veteran, Oswald served in the U.S. Air Force for 10 years as a crew chief KC-135 refueler. Oswald received his Masters of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Brandman University, a Bachelor’s of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Chapman University, and two Associates degrees from Merced College in University Studies and Industrial Maintenance. He holds multiple designations from the International Code Council, of which he is a member, including Certified Building Official, Building Code Official, Building Plans Examiner, Residential Building Inspector, Commercial Building Inspector, and Building Code Specialist.

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