Jump to content

"And Justice for ALL"


Recommended Posts

Several years ago, when business started to decline, I took a job as a superintendent for a small contractor; the job was 2 buildings of 3 condos each. The job was located in Jersey City, between 2 existing buildings.

It was tough getting out of the ground because on the one side we had 1/2 inch clearance between our new building and the existing 4 story building. The other side we had to install caissons because of the configuration of that building.

Anyway, when I called for my first 'city' inspection, this guy comes driving up in a Lincoln SUV. He comes over and gives me an attitude. Needless to say, the rest of the project was a pain in the ass when it came time for inspections.

If I called for an inspection for Wednesday, he would come the Monday before and fail me (of course we weren't ready); if I called for an inspection on Friday, he would come the next Friday. We had more down time on the project that you could imagine.

There was actually one point when I called for an inspection, he came to the building 3 doors down for some other inspection. I walked over to him, asked about my inspection, he said I wasn't in the book. I drove to the building department to talk to the CO; when I came back, there was a stop work order posted.

Needless to say, I ended up leaving the project because I can't work under these conditions.

Imagine my surprise when I go on line yesterday and find this:

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2009 ... tor_1.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Darren,

The stories about corruption in Hudson County government are endless. You are smart not to go down that path.

I hear stories about the old days when you would walk into the Building Department of many towns in NJ and you would drop an envelope in the open top draw of the desk and then pick up the approved plans. The same things would happen during onsite inspections, the approval stickers would be traded for "Gifts."

Fortunately, unless I am oblivious to the hints for a bribe, I have not been asked to pay for plan approvals. I would like to think that people realize that this is wrong and don't do it as much but the reality is that Government investigations and stricter enforcement have resulted in substantial reduction in this practice.

Regards,

Steve from NJ- the Garden State of Taxation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pretty much the standard procedure in that part of the state. It's usually figured in as one of the construction costs. That's why code officials buy their positions.

I did a loss control on up that way on a new large condo community for an underwriter. I found over 40% of the buildings didn't have proper fire separation. No action was taken until the media got involved.

I hear stories about the old days when you would walk into the Building Department of many towns in NJ and you would drop an envelope in the open top draw of the desk...
For Steven and the rest of yous up in north Jersey - draw is a verb, not a noun. It's a drawer.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pretty much the standard procedure in that part of the state. It's usually figured in as one of the construction costs. That's why code officials buy their positions.

I did a loss control on up that way on a new large condo community for an underwriter. I found over 40% of the buildings didn't have proper fire separation. No action was taken until the media got involved.

I hear stories about the old days when you would walk into the Building Department of many towns in NJ and you would drop an envelope in the open top draw of the desk...
For Steven and the rest of yous up in north Jersey - draw is a verb, not a noun. It's a drawer.

Bill-How ya doin? Thanks for the correction. You are absolutely write. The Spell Checkerer dit not catch that one. I guess eye am lucky that things have gotten busy enough for me that I don't half the time to re-read and proof my posts!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That crap is so prevalent in this State it's unreal. I've been on jobs where they are so blatant they just walk in spouting crap like "wish I had tickets to the Yankee's game" or some other BS.

Darren, you should go visit him in the slammer once a month, just to rattle his cage. Ask him if the tolerance on his backside is still up to spec.[:-bigmout

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only person that's even alluded to a bribe to me as a code officer was... you guessed it, a realtor trying to sell sell a house with an unsafe deck. She tried to use her good looks and said " there must be something we can do to get a c of o for this deck."

I said coyly, "sure, tear the shit down and start over with a competent contractor and appropriate materials." Then I slapped a red tag on the deck. Sometimes, it's a good gig.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the correction. You are absolutely write. The Spell Checkerer dit not catch that one. I guess eye am lucky that things have gotten busy enough for me that I don't half the time to re-read and proof my posts!!

It was my attempt at some humor after a long day. I was just poking fun at some of you folks in the north part of NJ that don't pronounce the r at the ends of words. Draw, instead of drawer, always makes me chuckle.

Unfortunately, after I moved to PA, my dialect has been influenced by Philadelphiaspeak.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Born and raised in Bahston. The Mainers say I'm from "away"? Living in Bahston is cool. We can go to Fenway Pahk (Red Sox). The gahden (Celtics and Bruns).The Schaffeh-Sullivan-Foxboro-Gillette (Patriots & Revs.)

The Pilgrims came ashoah about 40 miles south of here, back in 1620.

If you have the funds, you can see just about anything you want in our neighborhood (within a tank of gas). Cool! I could go on........[8D]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"...Sometimes, it's a good gig...."

I too have enjoyed doing battle with incompetent and arrogant builders in the public's interest. I have been officially reprimanded for doing my job well. Scared public officials call it being "unfriendly" to business when an inspector insists on compliance and even has the cojones to tell the builder the problem is his to solve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The most annoying shakedown I ever encountered was not as a contractor but as a private individual; my parents summer home in an unincorporated area of Michigan burned down, the insurance was well short of the replacement cost, and I ended up doing some of the work including all the branch circuit wiring (allowed, in that jurisdiction, if inspected).

This was a very straight forward job as most of the interior walls and ceilings were left unfinished (a common construction method for unheated summer homes in that area at the time), so electrical rough and final were combined into a single inspection - don't remember if it was county, or state.

Anyway, the inspector comes out, takes a look, and says "Well, looks okay to me, but I really don't like to pass jobs that were done by the owner unless they have been inspected by a licensed electrician approved by my office".

Okay, can't fight City Hall.

"How do I find out which electricians are approved?"

"Well, the one we usually use is my son..."

Son comes out, sits around drinking my elderly father's beer 'till the refrigerator is empty, never looks at the wiring, we get our CO.

Having this yokel not only take our money but waste our time as well really stuck in my craw - at least back in the day when I worked in Chicago (this was many years ago, don't know what it's like now) they didn't waste your.... time time was money, and they had to get onto the next job!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...