Permit Service Specialist

$30.16 - $39.36 hourly
  • City of Evanston
  • Remote (Hybrid (Work will be performed in person and remotely))
  • Apr 05, 2021
Full time

Job Description

37.5 hours/week
Starting salary is dependent upon qualifications, but in most cases is no higher than the midpoint for range.

Under the direction of the Building & Inspection Services Division Manager, this position is responsible for oversight of the day-to-day building permit issuance activity and work and maintenance of the software utilized for this work (Accela is the current software in use).  Heavily focused on IT maintenance and process improvement. Work will also include Customer Service Representative responsibilities including permit issuance, follow-up and coordination with parties seeking to obtain building permits (commercial, residential, and industrial property owners, tenants, contractors, developers, etc.).  This position also supervises the work of the Customer Service Representatives at the City’s Building Permit Desk.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS OF WORK (Specific assignment will include some or all of the following):

  • Maintains and improves existing Accela Environment and supports all issues encountered by staff in building permit, contractor registration issuance, online permits and inspections, online payments etc. (Health, Fire, Public Works, and Community Development).
  • Researches and implements the best software solution for electronic plan review.
  • Reviews and implements efficient business processes as they relate to permits and licensing, inspections, plan review, payments, contractor registration etc. 
  • Coordinates across multiple departments to support the primary IT tool for permit issuance and building inspection work.
  • Provides technical updates for and works with IT staff for Accela and other application deployments, support issues and updates.
  • Provides technical training to staff in Community Development, Fire, Health & Human Services, Public Works Departments, and Economic Division, as needed on new features and when software gets implemented or upgraded.
  • Supervises the Customer Service Representatives/Permit Desk Staff on work product, training, and other day-to-day aspects of this position.
  • Designs, builds and maintains Crystal Reports and like work product as determined by supervisor.
  • Works with department staff to understand and identify business needs and determine updates to workflow and processes.
  • Modifies and creates record and application types as needed.
  • Serves as a liaison with outside vendors in support of building permit software (Accela) and other associated software.
  • Oversees maintenance and configuration for the Accela Mobile App.
  • Implements new modules as needed.
  • Provides customer support and respond to 311 customer requests, Freedom of Information Act Requests, and other customer related requests as needed.
  • Produces modifications to improve and enhance delivery of services through Citizen Access including but not limited to (scheduling inspections, virtual inspections, contractor registration and renewals, online payments through Civic Platform, Implementation of Plan Review Permits, and  Contractor Registration
  • Assists with implementation of Laserfiche software application for electronic document management across the department.
  • Handles processing of building permits and day-to-day permitting activity as needed.
  • Prepares materials necessary for budget reports, preparation, and procurement activities relating to permit software.
  • Provides technical assistance, advice, and interpretation to residents and City officials of building permit documents and other permit related documents.
  • Implements any code and fee updates to the Accela platform to reflect code changes (Building, Zoning, Fire, Public Works, Health, and associated codes).
  • Performs other duties as required or assigned.


  • Must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in IT related field, Business Administration, Construction Management, Engineering, Architecture, or substantially similar field.  
  • Must possess two (2) or more years of progressively responsible experience working in the customer service related field.  Work experience with Accela or similar software is preferred.
  • Must possess a valid driver’s license and a safe driving record.
  • Knowledge, skills, and abilities in the following areas:
    • Ability to use practical application of fractions, percentages, ratio and proportion, logarithms, practical algebra, geometric constructions, and essentials of trigonometry.
    • Knowledge and experience working on ERP applications (front-end and back-end).
    • Experience supporting the technical needs of end users with varying levels of technical backgrounds.
    • Experience with troubleshooting and resolving issues related to software applications.
    • Experience with Accela or similar ERP software.
    • Understanding of Project Management Principles and Agile Methodologies.
    • Ability to comprehend business requirements resulting in implementation of effective technical solutions.
    • Working knowledge of modern principles and practices of construction.
    • Demonstrated customer service experience.
    • Experience with internet search engines, word processing software, email, web-based applications, databases, GIS, and Windows operating systems.
    • Ability to work with and relate to a diverse group of residents internal and external customers from varying socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds.
    • Excellent organizational and project management skills.
    • Excellent oral, written and interpersonal communication skills in dealing with individuals and groups at all levels.
    • Self-motivated, disciplined, organized, and reliable.
    • Innovative, creative, resourceful and independent thinking.


  • The ability to work in a primarily sedentary position, with the ability to occasionally use force to exert up to 10 pounds
  • The ability to lift, carry, sit, bend, stoop, climb or otherwise move objects, books, materials, etc. using up to 25 pounds of force frequently, and/or a negligible amount of force constantly to move objects
  • The ability to occasionally work outside in a variety of weather and environmental conditions
  • The ability to use machines, tools, equipment, and work aids of those commonly associated with this type of work including but not limited to automobile, flashlight, telephone, code books, digital recorder, personal computer, software, copiers etc.

Work is performed under the general direction of the Building & Inspection Services Division Manager who outlines work assignments, reviews in progress and completed work, and sets priorities for workflow. The employee oversees the work activities of Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) tasked with the building permit issuance of the City.  Works closely with other departments affiliated with the building permit, inspection, and permit review activities.  Employee is expected to provide coordination with all City departments as determined by the Building & Inspection Services Division Manager.  Work is evaluated at least annually with respect to progress toward achieving goals, leadership, communication skills, customer service, ability to work productively and effectively with employees at all levels in the organization and the general public.
The employee has regular and frequent contact with City employees, property owners, agents, tenants, contractors, developers, residents and groups. 
Chosen candidates will be required to provide proof of licenses, certifications, and education required for this position.  Candidates will also be subject to qualifying pre-employment processes, including medical examination, drug/alcohol screen, employment verification, and criminal background check.
The City of Evanston is an equal opportunity employer and ensures against discrimination in employment on the basis of a person’s race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, military discharge status, source of income, housing status, or gender identity.  The City of Evanston is also committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities.  Any person needing mobility or communications access assistance should contact Human Resources at 847-448-8204 (voice) or 847-866-5095 (TTY).