City’s new inspections director isn’t averse to working out in the field; in fact, sometimes it’s hard to find him in the office

After two days on the job as Burlington’s inspections director, Russell Williams has yet to grace his new office with any of personalized clutter that tends to accumulate in some workplaces. And being something of a stickler for the well organized desk, Williams plans to keep it that way.

But if he has his druthers, the city’s new inspections director won’t be in his office enough to justify even a modest buildup of professional debris at his work area.

“I’d like to spend as much time as I can in the field,” he acknowledged in an interview on Tuesday afternoon. “I want the community to know my face.”

Williams got plenty of face-time with the community in his previous job as a field inspector for the town of Chapel Hill, where he worked for over a year after holding a similar post with Orange County’s inspections department.

A graduate of North Carolina A&T, the 38-year-old Durham native has also spent time in the private sector, where he handled a variety of design work for an engineering firm involved in “vertical construction” projects. He is, moreover, licensed as both a general contractor and an electrical contractor, and he is state certified as an inspection instructor, which has allowed him to teach the building trade at Alamance Community College.

Although Williams is still relatively new to the city of Burlington, he hopes that his current assignment will allow him to get better acquainted with the city’s residents – regardless of how many of them actually visit his digs in Burlington’s city hall.

“Inspections is one city service,” he added, “that comes into contact with everyone in the community.”