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Release Date: February 18, 2005

On Friday morning February 18,2005I worked with Greenburgh Building Inspector Robert Dam as a Building Inspector. This temporary work assignment, like the other temporary work assignments I have experienced, provides me with an opportunity to appreciate the hard work performed by town employees. Working in the Building Department was a very interesting experience – with lots of variety!

We began the morning inspecting offices at 555 Taxter Roadin E Irvington. It’s impressive to see that so many amazing &quality businesses have chosen Greenburgh as their home. Coca Cola has their East Coast offices in this building. We checked that office.  As does Hasler Mailing, Schlott Glass, Freemont Investments. Inspector Dam had to determine whether each of these new tenants is eligible for their permanent certificate of occupancy from the town. Good news for the tenants: smoke alarms, exit signs, emergency lights were all in place and working. A side benefit to the job: walking around different offices, getting a chance to compare how different offices are decorated. The employees at Coca Cola seem to have lots of corporate pride. Nearly every office was decorated with Coca Cola bottles, posters ,etc.. No Pepsi machines allowed at 555 Taxter Road!  Most of the employees did not expect us – Mr. Dam was able to freely walk around the offices, opening people’s office doors to check to make sure that the offices are safe and meet code.  

Mr. Dam also checks shelving – to make sure that the shelving does not impact the sprinklers.

Next---we drove to Woods Aveto check the footings in the backyard of a house undergoing renovation. A deck is being built – Mr. Dam wanted to make sure that the footings are being built safely. They were.

We then drove to an apartment house. Residents have complained to the town about a couple that is keeping their apartment unsanitary. These conditions have had a very negative quality of life impact on immediate neighbors.  A Judge ordered the apartment cleaned up, after a violation was issued by the town. When we arrived at the apartment the odor was horrible. I couldn’t go into the apartment – would probably have gotten sick.  Mr. Dam indicated that he would advise the court that the elderly couple was not complying with the Judicial order. I offered to contact agencies that might be able to help this family.

We drove to another section of town. A family with unregistered vehicles, had not accepted a violation notice from the town. So, Mr. Dam posted the violation notice on the door, took photos of the violation notice posted on the door. Qualifies for service.

There are other responsibilities that Mr. Dam performs. He indicated to me that some people are renting space to roomers (illegally)  in their homes for about $650 a month. Sometimes he goes out at night looking for probable cause: locks on doors, refrigerators in rooms, hot plates, etc.. Older homes also are inspected when people re-sell or refinance their homes. New c/o’s must be issued if work had been done without obtaining proper permits.. The Building Department also makes sure that work is being done legally.

I was impressed with Mr. Dam’s excellent people skills, his enthusiasm for the job, his dedication. I learned a lot from this experience.

MY NEXT TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT---------------Water department.


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