2013-01-18 / Letters

Baxter V. Beaucracy

Dear Editor:

I attended the meeting on the beach last Saturday where local politicians and speakers voiced their disappointments about the way the government is treating Rockaway. Unfortunately, the government is well aware that the City of New York only cares about Manhattan and is oblivious about what takes place in the surrounding Boroughs. Here is my take and my first example of how the City of New York is out of touch with what is going on.

I’ll do my best to cut to the chase without boring you to death. I am a Fire Safety Director at my hotel on Beach 116th Street for approximately 28 years. Every so often I must upgrade my license. I take a course at the recommended school and I get my new license. In the spring of last year I did that but my license was not coming in the mail. I went in person to the Fire Department at 9 Metro Tech in Brooklyn to pick it up but I was told that it wasn’t the policy to hand out licenses and I must wait for it to come in the mail. I explained that it was time for an annual inspection and if I am caught without a license the Fire inspector will throw the book at me along with the kitchen sink. The clerk responded. “Don’t worry, that cannot happen. I am looking at your license in the computer and you are in good standing, up to date, and you will have it in the mail any day.” Remember that commercial, any day now, any day.

Well the only thing that came was the Fire Inspector. No matter how hard I tried to convince him that I was in the computer and up to date he just shrugged his shoulders and kept writing. Now I appeared at the Kangaroo Court called the Environmental Control Board, ECB. At one point I tried to convince myself that I should be glad to be there just to witness the charade that takes place. Talk about a Laurel and Hardy show. The only problem with that was, that I was the one in the fine mess. Anyway, Karin Bassetti, Administrative Law Judge listened to my explanation, but Russell Walker representing the Fire Department was having none of that and said. “Would you excuse me Judge, I must call the Fire Department and check Mr. Baxter’s license.”

He came back and said. “I just spoke to Deputy Chief inspector Towey and he informed me that Baxter’s license is not in the computer.” The judge slapped me with a $750.00 fine. I appealed and won. Am I finished and waiting for my $750.00 in the mail? Yeah sure, and the cows are coming home any day now, any day. Well the Fire Department is objecting to the appeals court decision on grounds that the FD was not served with the appeals papers. That argument is moot since I can prove that they were served. This is one example of how the City of New York and its many agencies are out of control and have no regard for the people financing them. The Fire Department is not used to being challenged let alone losing a case. God forbid you should defend yourself. How long do you think I will be waiting for the arrival of my $750.00 check? Any day now, any day.


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