Breaking: Call to abolish Buildings Dept.
Lou Coletti, the president of the Building Trade Employers Association, has something of a new idea for improving the woeful record of the citys Department of Buildings: Getting rid of the agency all together.
The proposal came during todays city council hearings on increasing building safety.
We are facing a crisis which requires bold and creative action, Colleti said. What is needed is radical reform.
He added, Government needs to reform in a way that will allow this industry to continue to be the economic engine that fuels this citys economy and does so in way that doesnt compromise safety. They are not mutually exclusive goals.
The proposal calls for the establishment of a public benefit corporation, a New York City Construction and Standards Authority, that would act much as the School Construction Authority does, and would lead, backers allege, to streamlined bureaucracy and greater safety.
There are some 30,000 police officers, 15,000 firefighters, and 450 building inspectors, Coletti said. Building inspectors receive virtually no professional training, are underpaid and work primarily MondayFriday 8 a.m 4 p.m.
The proposal seemed to unsettle some members of the council, but councilman Erik Martin Dilan (D-Brooklyn), who chairs the buildings committee, said he was anxious to hear more.
They cited the School Construction Authority as an example, but they didnt call for getting rid of the Department of Education, he said. Some of what they said makes sense. We certainly need to improve the DOB, Im just not sure the solution is to totally abolish it.