Sunday, January 14, 2007

Meaningless Legislation


January 14, 2007 -- The Bloomberg administration and the City Council will soon enact legislation requiring the city's more than 600 home builders to get licenses before they erect any more homes here, The Post has learned.

Currently, most subcontractors, like plumbers and electricians, must be licensed. But general contractors who supervise home construction operate without licenses.

"It's sort of amazing that in the year 2007 New York City does not license home builders," said City Council Minority Leader James Oddo (R-S.I.), the measure's prime sponsor.

The bill would authorize the police to seize the vehicles and tools belonging to any general contractor caught building a home without a license. It also calls for six months of prison time, a $5,000 fine and an additional $5,000 civil penalty.

Builders must prove they are insured and financially solvent and must offer warranties for all work performed.

The license fee would be $200 for the first two years, then $100 every two years. The company would also have to provide information on anyone who owns at least 10 percent of the firm.

The Mayor's Office agreed to support the measure after Oddo removed a provision requiring background checks.

Bloomberg must know that if background checks were mandatory then there wouldn't be much building accomplished in the city.

This is our government pretending that they are taking care of a problem. They need to explain how licensing a contractor is going to change anything. Operating without a $200 license? Please. What happens to contractors when they are caught building contrary to approved plans or hiring illegals? Nothing! What infractions would cause the city to revoke their licenses? None!

Incidentally, James Oddo is the councilman from Staten Island who denied representatives of a Queens community group the chance to speak at a Manhattan meeting about the Department of Buildings that they had been invited to by the City Council.


verdi said...

Without first requiring a background check, what the hell's the use of granting a contractor a license! Just another example of a "cosmetic-fix" law being passed by the Bloomberg administration that will accomplish nothing. This law already has a loophole in it. The lawyers are the only ones (besides the contractors) that are going to make out good on this one. Another example of "municipal-welfare" to support the businesses of our already thriving "barristers" and further burden the legal system. Oh well, aren't most of our City Council members attorneys?

Anonymous said...

Sure, with no teeth for enforcement. Yes, as long as they are given carte blanche on employment options, even winking when they break the law, then abuses will continue. How many laborers must die before someone takes action?

NY's dirty little secret. The vaunted beacon of immigrants welcomes them here to exploit and abuse them, as laborers or tenants.

Anonymous said...

In keeping in line with your on target post visit This is a grassroots organization.
Texas initiated the Texas Residential Construction Commission. It is put together and run by the builder's buddies.
Did you ever hear of a commission that one had to pay hundreds of dollars to file a complaint?
Licensing builders and no background check, hmmm?

Anonymous said...

A "00#2 (#2- as in poop) License" for a contractor to do exactly what he wants anyway! Then, maybe, we can set up another "Commission" to polce them that does little but waste tax payers' money. Another toothless law on the books that'll never be enforced!