On Tuesday, Brazil Mayor Ann Bradshaw named Eric Vanatti the Interim Planning Administrator.
Vanatti, a reserve officer with the Brazil City Police Department, is the temporary replacement for Michele Altman, who resigned Aug. 11.
"I had been working with Michele for about a year and Ann felt I was the best qualified to temporarily hold the position," Vanatti said. "While the city is finished accepting applications, they don't want to put the permanent replacement in too quickly."
He added that the city is wanting to make sure they find a qualified replacement who has knowledge of local and state ordinances.
However, Vanatti is not acting as a placeholder.
"Since Michele resigned, some residents have gotten the idea that they can do whatever they want until the permanent replacement is named," he said. "However, we are continuing to enforce the ordinances and working on our projects as usual."
One of the major issues the Planning Office is working on is the presence of unsafe and abandoned buildings in the city.
"Criminals tend to hang out in abandoned buildings and we are trying our best to at least get them boarded up with the recent criminal activity," Vanatti said. "We also want to get the buildings secure because they are also classified as arson risks."
Vanatti, who recently graduated from ISU with a bachelor's degree in Criminology/Criminal Justice with minors in public administration, political science and psychology, is also attempting to regain the faith of residents who may have been treated wrongly in the past.
"Previous administration was a little harsh in the code enforcement aspect," he said. "We are wanting to reconstruct the way we are doing things in order to make things more citizen-friendly."
He is encouraging all residents to call the office with complaints about properties and wants to ensure everyone that he will do all he can to serve their needs.
"Even if they feel they have been ignored in the past, residents should call if they find something that needs to be done," Vanatti said. "We are now keeping a call log so we can make sure that everyone who calls in is attended to. Elsie Hawkins handles most of the administrative duties in the office and there is always someone in the office to take calls."
Monday was the final day to submit applications for the position. The city received more than 20 applications and will be starting interviews today.
To contact the Planning Office, residents can call the direct line at 446-0050 or Brazil City Hall at 443-2221.