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From the Mayor's Office of Communications

December 21, 2005

SAN FRANCISCO, CA- Mayor Gavin Newsom and Supervisor Aaron Peskin today announced the appointment of four highly qualified individuals to the city's Building Inspection Commission.

Under the direction and management of the seven-member citizen Building Inspection Commission, the Department of Building Inspection oversee the effective, efficient, fair and safe enforcement of the City and County of San Francisco's Building, Housing, Plumbing, Electrical, and Mechanical Codes, along with the Disability Access Regulations.

"These individuals are strong leaders in their respective fields and will bring a high level of independence and professionalism to the Commission," said Mayor Newsom. "Their leadership will advance our work reforming the building inspection process and increasing the department's efficiency."

Board of Supervisor's President Aaron Peskin added, "I am delighted to see such experienced and qualified individuals who will bring unique expertise and vision to oversee the Building Inspection Department."

Mayor Newsom's Appointees:

Mel Murphy is a licensed Real Estate Broker, licensed California General Contractor and successful real estate developer in San Francisco and Scottsdale, Arizona. Mr. Murphy's extensive experience in general contracting and real estate development has qualified him to manage large construction projects in the United States and abroad. In 1976, Mel began managing a successful and highly respected development and property management company Pattani Construction with a strong portfolio of buildings throughout San Francisco. His entrepreneurial instincts also led him to study for his Real Estate Broker's License, which led to the establishment of Murphy & O'Brien Real Estate Investments. A combination of strong leadership, demonstrated business expertise, professional and personal integrity and talent ensure that Mr. Mel Murphy is well placed to take on any other responsibilities.

Michael Thériault has been a member of the Ironworkers Union since 1985. He was appointed as Business Representative with his Local in 2001 to fill out the unexpired term of retiring Randy Oyler. He was elected in his own right to a second term in 2003. In 1985, Mr. Thériault joined the Ironworkers Union and served his apprenticeship working on office high-rises for the Herrick Corporation. He was named, 'Outstanding Apprentice' in his graduating class in 1988.

In 1999 he was hired as a full-time organizer with Ironworkers Local 377. Mr. Thériault has also served as a delegate for many years to the San Francisco Building and Construction Trades Council representing the Ironworkers. He has served as a Council trustee for several years. Thériault has represented his local as a delegate to the San Francisco Labor Council, the Housing Action Coalition, as well as building trades councils in San Mateo, Marin, Sonoma-Lake-Medocino and Humboldt Del Norte counties.

Board of Supervisor's Appointees:

Debra Walker has been involved in land use, tenants and arts issues since moving to San Francisco in the mid-eighties. She was co-chair of the land use initiative in 1999, Prop L, which attempted to put controls on office development in San Francisco. She served as chair of the San Francisco Live-work task force formed to advise the city on development in the industrial areas of the city. Debra sits on the advisory board of Creative Arts Charter School, and has also served on the boards of Soundsafe, a non-profit dedicated to creating affordable musicians space in SF, Artspan/Open Studios producers of the annual San Francisco Open Studios. With other activists in the arts community, Walker helped create San Francisco's rental assistance program in 2001 to keep arts organizations in the city during the dot com boom. She is currently chairing the city's Arts Task Force which will provide the mayor and the Board of Supervisors with recommendations to improve the city's arts infrastructure. Debra is the Northern CA Vice Chair of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Caucus, California Democratic Party and a past president of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club. She previously served as a Building Inspection Commissioner from 2000-2002.

Joe Grubb originally hails from Memphis, where he received a BS from University of Tennessee. Joe has been a San Francisco resident for 30 years, 14 of which were spent working for the Building Inspection Department. Joe served as Chief of Housing Inspection before being appointed by Mayor Agnos to head the Residential Rent Stabilization Board where he served for 15 years spanning four mayoral administrations, before retiring in 2004. Mr. Grubb is a member of the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club and was a founding member of Christmas in April, now known as Rebuilding Together SF.


The Department of Building inspection (DBI) was created by voter referendum under Proposition G in 1994. The charter amendment established the body known as the Building Inspection Commission (BIC) which was designed to provide representation for the various communities which interact with the Building Department.




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