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Mayor's Office

2008 Media Releases

December 2, 2008
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831


Mayor Chris Beutler today named Fred Hoke as Director of the City Building and Safety Department, effective December 15. Hoke is currently the Government Affairs Director for the Home Builders Association of Lincoln (HBAL). He will replace Mike Merwick. Beutler said Hoke will refocus the Department by implementing new performance and customer service standards and will be a leader on the proposed Development Services Center.

“Fred is uniquely qualified to be a change agent in the Department,” Beutler said. “He understands the development industry, business and technology and personnel management. He understands how to educate and motivate. By creating expectations for both the Department and those it serves, I am confident Fred can help achieve our goal of building a cost efficient and effective development services process that promotes job creation and growth.”

Hoke has worked for HBAL since 2006 and helped the organization implement a strategic plan. Before that, he managed accounts for major Midwest banks as part of two companies dealing with information technology security and risk assessment. In the late 1990s, he created and opened the first Manpower Technical/Professional office in Omaha and formed a team of national and international recruiters. He also has experience in the education field in Ohio, West Virginia, Michigan and Nebraska, where he served as Executive Director of the Nebraska Council of School Administrators from 1986 through 1992. He has a master’s degree in educational administration from West Virginia University.

“The Building and Safety Department is a critical component of everyone’s life,” Hoke said. “Not only does the Department insure that all construction meets the breadth of building codes, it also supports, maintains and promotes the safety of all our citizens. Lincoln has a golden opportunity to provide a user-friendly customer-service model that improves our effectiveness and justifies the taxpayer’s ‘requirement’ that we build new efficiency and new economy into our service model.”

Merwick has been Building and Safety Director since 1999 and served as Lincoln Fire Chief for 19 years before that. Mayor Beutler said he has been an outstanding leader and has helped shape the Lincoln we know today.

“Mike is a great example of how experience and dedication can make a difference to the people we serve,” Beutler said. “He is the very definition of a public servant, and our community owes him our gratitude for his long an distinguished service.”

The Building and Safety Department is responsible for reviewing construction plans, issuing permits and inspecting new construction and existing buildings to determine their compliance with codes and regulations.

The appointment of Hoke will require approval of the City Council.

Mayor's Office
Media Releases