The Park Record editorial, May 1, 2010 |

The Park Record editorial, May 1, 2010

City building official made sure city was safe for all

If you want to make Ron Ivie happy, pick a fight. But you want to make him uncomfortable, just say something nice about him.

Sorry, Ron, you probably don’t want to read this.

For the last 30 years, Ron Ivie has run Park City’s building department with the same tight rein that cowboys use on wild horses. It hasn’t always made him popular but among quality-conscious developers, architects, builders and elected officials he is universally respected. Park City’s Chief Building Official and Fire Marshal is planning to hang up his spurs on June 30.

Ivie has always taken his job as chief building official to heart. He abhors shoddy construction, detests developers who take short cuts at the expense of public safety and has no patience for lax building codes or politically motivated compromises on local code enforcement. And he is not afraid to stand up to powerful interests.

In fact, Ivie once handed his own bosses an eviction notice. When he determined that city hall, formerly one of the city’s old elementary schools, did not meet current earthquake safety codes, he blew the whistle. Fortunately the Park City Council knew better than to argue.

An example of Ivie’s unconventional negotiating style used to play out regularly in front of the building department window during the city’s super-heated building boom. Inevitably, once a week or so someone armed with an inspection notice or a stop work order would stomp up to the receptionist and start yelling. After a minute or two, Ivie would stroll out of his own office and take over. One of his favorite ploys was to put a vocal opponent on a committee. That usually quieted them down.

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Ivie made numerous important contributions to the day-to-day welfare of Park City, many of which are invisible but lifesaving. He took flak from developers by insisting that they install fire sprinklers and fire resistant roofing materials and he was always among the first on scene when there were fires or flooding.

It is fair to say Ivie ensured that, under his watch, Park City’s glamorous veneer was more than skin deep. Visitors and residents who spend time any of the projects built under his watch can rest assured the structure is sound and the builders were held to the highest standards.

Now that we have thoroughly aggravated him, we might as well add that Ivie will be missed for his sense of humor as well.