Mountain View Voice

News - June 20, 2014

Chief building official Anthony Ghiossi dies at 49

by Daniel DeBolt

Mountain View city employees are mourning the loss of the city's chief building official, Anthony Ghiossi, who died June 10 after a year-and-a-half long battle with cancer. He was 49.

Ghiossi had worked for the city of Mountain View for nearly two decades, starting out as permit technician at the building department's front counter in 1991, then became a building inspector before leaving to work as the head of Los Gatos building department between 2004 and 2010, when he returned to Mountain View as chief building official.

"He was one of our great success stories," said planning director Randy Tsuda. "He worked his way all the way up. He was tremendous person. He loved Mountain View and was passionate about the community. And he was full of energy."

Ghiossi was a San Jose resident, was married to Deirdre Boyle in 2003. They had two sons, Caden and Shane, born in 2005 and 2008.

"He truly loved his wife and two boys, he talked about them all the time," Tsuda said.

As building official, Ghiossi and his team of inspectors were responsible for making sure the city's buildings met building codes and were safe — the massive task of reviewing, checking and approving building permit applications and conducting building safety inspections of all kinds.

"The building division does 24,000 inspections a year, it's a lot," Tsuda, said. "And they process right around 7,300 building permits a year. They are incredibly, incredibly busy. Anthony ran a very, very efficient group. It's one of those things you never think about. Buildings get built and you assume someone is inspecting it."

Shellie Woodworth worked directly under Ghiossi as development services coordinator. "He was a great boss and he always thought about how what he did affected his staff. He had a big heart," she said. "He ended up being mentor more than anything, which is not something you decide to be. People just start looking to you for advice."

Ghiossi was born in Fort Bragg on Aug. 27, 1964, where was also a standout basketball and baseball player in high school. He studied engineering technology at San Jose State University, was an outdoorsman, a photographer and fan of the San Jose Sharks hockey team,according to his family. Tsuda says Ghiossi talked about the Sharks so much that he eventually attended a game with him, and got hooked. He also held numerous leadership positions in a nonprofit trade association, the International Codes Council, including as president.

"He was definitely a super dad, he had two kids going 1,000 miles per hour at all times," Woodworth said. "He really had a good work-life balance and he would remind his staff to have the same work life balance. He was really good in that respect."

Tsuda also noticed Ghiossi's way with people when he worked with Ghiossi in Los Gatos, which is "a community with a very demanding constituency. We would send him out to a neighborhood meeting on a difficult construction project and the feedback we got was always fantastic."

"He was somebody who was trying to leave this place a better place than when he found it — a safer place," Woodworth said. "He always wanted to employ a reasonable and fair approach to the building code but also leave things safe for everybody."

Email Daniel DeBolt at ddebolt@mv-voice.com

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