by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher –

At the June 21, 2022 Board of Aldermen meeting in Pass Christian, the city hired Gene Peralta to come back as the building official on a temporary basis.  Peralta had previously served the city in the same role from 2005-2016, going through an abundant amount of rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina during the time of his employment.

Before being hired by Pass Christian, Peralta spent years in the private sector.

Although Peralta’s hiring was unanimously approved, the term “temporary” brought up some dispute and eventually came to three months on an employment that would not exceed 29 hours a week at an hourly rate of $26.15.  This was the same rate as the previous building code officer; Tom Duffy, as the budget was amended.

The city has continued to advertise for this position on a permanent level, but with the immediate transition, Pass Christian continues to provide services in community development. 

Duffy was presented on the June agenda at a consultant rate to assist with review and code inspection services, but the motion was rejected by the board of aldermen.

During the July 7, Peralta’s certification as a floodplain manager had elapsed where City Attorney; Malcolm Jones, suggested Pass Christian temporarily hire Charles Stallings strictly “as needed” through the hurricane season to maintain the community rating system classification for flood insurance purposes. 

Funding for these consultant services were in the budget and the board unanimously approved.

As the city has received over $10 million in federal and state funds, the projects are moving forward and Peralta finds himself in a different position of rebuilding versus being a part of creation.

The mayor and board of aldermen will conduct interviews to fill the permanent position.