LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: OB Building Inspector Article Generates Reaction

To the Editor:

For a while now I have heard feedback from the article written by your columnist Timothy Bolger. I understand it was the last print of the season. I also know that you are the editor. I just read the article today. NEVER did your reporter try to contact Ted Minski. Ted was never hired as building safety inspector in 2015 or ever. Fact being a building safety inspector does not have to complete all of the code enforcement courses…only part of them. IF TIMOTHY BOLGER had checked his facts he would know that. Mr. Bolger’s fact finding mission did not show the fact that Ted Minski has completed the code enforcement courses given by the state two times in his prior employment with the village of Ocean Beach and is in the process of updating his certification currently. He has one year from hire date again to update his certification as building inspector/code enforcement/fire marshall. His hire date was April 2016 to replace Pete Gelsomine. He does not make $45 an hour. If Mr. Bolger would have checked his facts… he would have known that… if he had checked his facts… he would known that…Thank you EDITOR… stay tuned!

Nancy Minski

P.S. I don’t know anything else that he wrote whether it’s true or false… but I’m betting the latter. Personally Shoshanna…I find it sad that you allowed this renegade to write what he did.

EDITOR’S RESPONSE: The task of reporting on controversial matters, especially those of such a local nature, is never an easy one – and it shouldn’t be. Such news items have the power to impact decent people, who are often longstanding members of the community, as well as their loved ones. We here at Fire Island News feel your anguish Nancy, and do not dismiss it. However we also standby Timothy Bolger, who we are confident exercised due diligence in his reporting research. Bolger is not a renegade. He is a thoughtful and compassionate man, who takes his work seriously. That’s why he was entrusted with this most difficult of assignments. Please consider that the destiny of every news story is shaped by those who agree to participate in the process, as well as those who don’t. We invite further open dialogue on the subject.

Shoshanna McCollum

Editor, Fire Island News

To the Editor,

This is in response to article in volume 60 issue 9 September 2nd 2016 Re: Building Inspector turnover.

Tim Bolger did an excellent job covering some of the issues in an attempt to answer the question that was raised; why can’t Ocean Beach keep a building Inspector?

I could only comment on my personal reasons but they don’t seem to be limited to just my experiences alone. The parallels between different inspectors are obvious to me.

I wouldn’t detract or add a thing to Mr. Bolger’s article except to make clear that these are not to be perceived solely as failings by the current administration. Town Attorneys, boards, individuals are all players. Don’t think that you will simply be able to vote in a change.

The state has some role in this failure as well. Since 2003, and at the rate of 24 mandatory credits a year I have been educated and instructed how to READ the code and not interpret the code in no other manifestation other than the intent in which they wrote it, NOT my interpretations.

This may explain why often if it appears to an individual the State’s definition of a word is not the same as theirs. The inspector, often as the bearer of bad news to property owners, is not to blame. If conflict arises, The State, and the Codes are there to back them up. If the state can’t back up their code enforcement official, the village will never be able to keep their inspector. If the elected and appointed members of the village can not back up their code enforcement official, they will not be able to keep an inspector.

It was clear to me the “Village” does not respect the Code, nor their own Zoning Ordinances, and haven’t for a long time.

Respectfully, Peter Gelsomine

NYS Code Official
/ Certified Floodplain Manager

Click here to view the original article OB Building Inspector Turnover Raises Questions by Timothy Bolger

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