I agree that there is some unnecessary overhead in a lot of building
departments but it tends to be at the top.
Funny thing happened in the housing slowdown. They laid off all of the
junior people, mostly inspectors and those guys who used to spend
their days drinking coffee and going to meetings, hit the road. The
rule was, the more licenses you held, the better your chance was to
First to go were "code enforcement" those people who write tickets for
junk cars in the yard and uncut lawns, because they generally only
hold a driver's license. Then they started working their way up
through building inspectors who only had one license (electrical,
plumbing or whatever)
The senior people were the most likely to hold a full boat
(Structural, Plumbing, Electrical and Mechanical) They still had to be
willing to hit the road.
You are still more likely to get a reinspection card when they are
busy than when they are slow. They are not willing to spend any time
working with you, they gotta go.
I did not work for a municipality I worked for the state and things
were usually slow for me. I would stay there and watch the guy fix a
violation if he was ready to do it right then. Typically my travel
time was more than the actual inspection (I covered 8 counties) so it
was more efficient for me to make one trip out of it.
In my patch, that would have slowed down your job because I would red
tag the job and have you explain to the CBO what the scotch was all
Too many lawyers for that kind of stuff these days and inspectors can
go to jail.
On 11/1/2014 5:22 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
But that does not mean you cannot accept tips. My stepfather was a
contractor and did a lot of major remodels and makeovers. His work was
good and always to code. When the inspector came, it was my mother's
job to put an envelope someplace, on a counter, whatever. It was always
gone when he left. This was in a large east coast city that employed
dozens of inspectors.
I was never offered a tip and I would not have taken it if offered.
If for no other reason, too fuggun many lawyers.
If I passed a violation for a tip and someone got injured or there was
any significant property damage someone would sue my ass off.
As long as I am doing my job, I am covered by sovereign immunity but
willful misconduct is the exception to that immunity.
It is not the wild west anymore.
I grew up back east and that's how a lot of things went. Actually the system
functioned quite well. The bureaucrats have some skin in the game and it's
to their economic advantage to ensure things get done.
Of course it is, but that was just a normal workday. In our town with
one inspector, I'd never think of such a thing, but in the big city, it
was common. Had nothing to do with violations, but it may have in some
Some of the responding posters seem to miss that your father's work was
to code and didn't have to redo anything.
In 1970, I took a bus from Nuevo Laredo Mexcico, on the border with
Texas, and they place the customs station about 5 or 10 miles from the
border (to make life simple for Mexicans living close to the border, and
simple to go from the US to Mexico and back**) . It was dark out
already, with no lights on the bus itself, A customs inspector got on
and I saw everyone in sight take out what I'm sure was money and give
it to him. Maybe they were all importing something and really owed
customs. Maybe that was an advantage of going to the border, something
like the duty-free store in an airport, but at the time, I thought they
were mostly bribing the inspector.
I had nothing that was new and would not have owed customs, so I just
say there, looking like an American. The inspector ignored me.
Didn't even ask if I had anything to declare.
So were they bribing him or not?
**I slept 2 or 3 nights in Mexico, where it was cheaper, and 1 of the 3
times I walked back to the US, I had to drop my pants for a search.
But I didnt' have to go through Customs!
It all boils down to some people have ethics and some people don't.
One can read this daily in the newz and here in the groups. Always trying
the shortcut... I love the TV show "Catch a Contractor". They have now
caught Manny twice!
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