Frame bonding is usually done by attaching a listed lug to pool hardware at either the bottom or top where the uprights attach to the rails. Not drilling holes is a real good thing. Star washers (2) on the lug where you attach it.
As to the opinions of the different AHJ's..
the best suggestion I can offer is politely asking 'what Article are you quoting (Sir)'
As to the 'PA way'...I'm aware that the Commonwealth has recently licensed Electrical Inspectors, so on that info I'm assuming that permits are required? Perhaps, not statewide yet?