Quick! Write this number down: (800) 521-6310.
Store it in a safe place.
A reader's contractor checked with City Hall to schedule a plumbing inspection for a home renovation project that is nearing completion, only to report to the client that there was no telling when the inspection could be scheduled.
The reader checked for themselves and found that there were only TWO problems. First, the computer network in the Inspection Division was down and nobody could say when anything could happen. (Didn't the City just pay $157K to get that part working?)
Second, there would be no plumbing inspections until there was a plumbing inspector.
Seems the plumbing inspector, with more than 20 years experience in Plainfield, had had it up to the eyeballs and quit last week, without notice.
Like most New Jersey communities, Plainfield's plumbing inspector is a part-time position. While there is a steady stream of inspections to perform -- between home improvement projects and new construction -- there is not enough work to keep an inspector employed full-time.
Plumbing inspectors are licensed by the State and most spread their work week around as part-time employees in more than one community.
Plainfield generates, PT is told, between 20 and 25 inspections per week, on a two-day per week inspection schedule.
Like tax collectors and assessors, the world of licensed inspectors is a rather small one, with inspectors knowing each other and the quirks of the communities for which they work. As with any small, artisan-centered trade, the treatment inspectors get figures prominently in the chit-chat in which they engage.
Plainfield has been on a tear in its treatment of inspections personnel since the beginning of the Robinson-Briggs administration in January, 2006. The 'street cred' is near zero. With plenty of work out there for inspectors and Plainfield's reputation as an abusive workplace, the Administration has its work cut out for it in attracting a new inspector.
We'll see how quickly they're able to replace the open inspector's position -- and at what price.
For now -- plumbing inspection? Fuhgeddaboudit!
Meanwhile, that phone number?
It's for Porta-John. Keep it handy. If you're doing or planning a home improvement project you just may need it.
View today's CLIPS here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.