Evan Thies, in a News letter to the editor, isn’t happy about DOB’s new uniforms.
While I agree that $385,000 is a bit much to pay for new uniforms (over $1,200 per uniformee), I’m not so sure the concept is as wrong-headed as Thies makes out. For one thing, anything that brings a greater sense of, well, uniformity, to the enforcement of building regulations can’t be a bad thing. Second, if inspectors are wearing uniforms, they’ll be easier to spot when they show up Monday morning to inspect weekend variance complaints. Finally, I have to think that it is harder to buy off someone in uniform.
[UPDATE:The News doesn’t provide links to individual letters to the editor, only to the whole day’s run of letters. To save you the trouble of wading through all of the others, here is the letter referenced above (in its entirety):
Brooklyn: I read with sheer disgust the news that the city’s Department of Buildings is spending almost $400,000 worth of taxpayer money on spiffy new uniforms for its inspectors.
The agency has pleaded poverty in the face of unbridled development for the past six years, as neighborhoods such as mine in Greenpoint-Williamsburg have dealt with dangerous construction sites and related accidents that have put residents at risk and even cost people their homes.
Unbelievably, fewer than 200 inspectors are deployed citywide to (futilely) deal with tens of thousands of new projects a year. That money for new uniforms could have added a half-dozen more – which is no solution, but certainly would have been money much better spent.
Evan Thies Community Board 1 Environment Committee