Jerry Foustnight Share

Nov 9, 2023  |  Layla Price-Bodkin

Build­ing Com­mis­sion­er Jer­ry Foust­night will hang his hat fol­low­ing a sec­ond career in pub­lic ser­vice with the City of Marion.

Foust­night had first retired after serv­ing with the Mar­i­on Fire Depart­ment from 1977 to 2007. He was brought back to a relat­ed field as Build­ing Com­mis­sion­er in 2016 by May­or Jess Alumbaugh.

May­or Alum­baugh expressed appre­ci­a­tion for Foustnight’s ded­i­ca­tion and lead­er­ship. Jer­ry has done a great job as the City of Mar­i­on’s Build­ing Com­mis­sion­er for the past eight years. He is fair and con­sis­tent when deal­ing with build­ing and prop­er­ty issues in our com­mu­ni­ty. And he demands the same from his staff.”

The lead­er­ship role addi­tion­al­ly over­sees Code Enforce­ment and Ani­mal Care and Control. 

Foust­night high­ly regards his team in all three areas. I’m real­ly proud of my staff. They go out of their way to elim­i­nate blight, not only in build­ings, but through elim­i­nat­ing weeds, trash, aban­doned vehi­cles, and in han­dling ani­mal issues. We all work togeth­er.” He added, They sel­dom get cred­it for their efforts. You nev­er know they exist until there is a problem.”

Foust­night said the most impor­tant work they have done is elim­i­nat­ing blight through demol­ish­ing unsafe struc­tures beyond repair. In Octo­ber of 2023, an online map was intro­duced show­ing the his­to­ry of demo­li­tions from 2016 to 2022. A link is found on the Build­ing Depart­ment Page, city​of​mar​i​on​.in​.gov/​b​u​i​lding. A map from 2023 is in the works.

Foust­night com­ment­ed, That map just shows that we treat every­body fair­ly and it was not just one sec­tion of the city.” He said it has been a chal­lenge help­ing cit­i­zens under­stand the process. I wish they under­stood what we do on a dai­ly basis. We do inspec­tions every day. We make sure every­one is treat­ed the same whether you have a dol­lar or a pen­ny in your pock­et, for the good of our cit­i­zens. We strive to bet­ter our­selves every day, and to try to make a difference.”

In his Spot­light inter­view before retir­ing on Decem­ber 31st, 2023, he respond­ed with humil­i­ty. I’m out here just like every­one else, just doing my job. I’ve worked all my life in pub­lic ser­vice. I’ve always strived to do things cor­rect­ly and the best I could. That’s why I want­ed to do this job. Now, I believe it’s time to retire and spend more time with my family.”

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