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Mar 17, 2010 3:08 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Village building inspector fell short on certification hours

Mar 17, 2010 3:08 PM

The Southampton Village Board has asked its attorney to research potential liabilities stemming from projects and certificates of occupancy approved by Village Building Inspector Jonathan Foster in years when he did not log the number of training hours required by the state to keep his building inspector certification current.

The request to Richard DePetris was issued after village resident Evelyn Konrad, a lawyer who has filed several lawsuits against the village, raised the issue at the board’s meeting on Thursday, March 11.

Mr. Foster was hired to be the village’s building inspector on January 16, 1989, according to Village Clerk/Treasurer Stephen Funsch. The prerequisites for becoming a building inspector in New York include completing a series of six courses, passing their respective exams and completing 24 hours of code enforcement in-service training each year. Those are state regulations, and local municipalities may set additional standards.

According to New York Department of State records provided by spokesman Gabe Roth, Mr. Foster received his initial certification in 1992 but fell short of the in-service training requirements for at least two years. In 2007, according to the state’s documents, Mr. Foster completed just seven hours of training, and in 2008 he completed 20 hours. In 2009, he fulfilled the requirement by tallying 31 hours of in-service training.

Mr. Roth noted that individuals who fail to meet the in-service training requirement do not lose their certification and that the state does not have “the statutory ability to enforce in any way the rule that requires 24 hours of training.” It is up to municipalities to determine how to deal with any inspectors who fall short of those requirements, he said.

Mr. Foster could not be reached for comment.

“This is news to me,” Mr. Epley said in a phone interview this week when asked about Mr. Foster’s failure to meet the requirement, adding that the village did not receive any notices from the state about it. Mr. Epley stressed that Mr. Foster’s certification was still valid. “He does a good job. He’s very qualified,” he said of the village’s seniormost building inspector.

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Obviously, the Village doessn't care about the education requirements. To begin with, 24 hrs is a joke, the BCNYS is rocket science, and ever evolving. The municipality should require, and subsidise a min of 40 hrs a year.
By kelbas (29), Southampton on Mar 18, 10 12:00 AM
Does that also mean that any stop work orders issued by Jon would be null & void?

Jon is an honest man & good building inspector. The village building department was probably very busy those years & Jon may not have been given time to attend classes. This sounds like a witch hunt to me.

By Draggerman (710), Southampton on Mar 18, 10 7:24 AM
2 members liked this comment
you mean, yet another witch hunt?
By rabbit (65), watermill on Mar 18, 10 8:59 AM
Some people have way to much time on there hands...
By pstevens (406), Wilmington on Mar 18, 10 11:22 AM
Actually, we have the New York State records for the past ten years of
Jonathan Foster's tenure, and they show that he had not been certified between 2003 and 2009. Perhaps he was too busy with his daytime job --
selling real estate.
We had that official New York State record from a FOIL request, and, as
a matter of fact, I dropped off those documents and a summary of my comments to Mayor Epley and the trustees for Colleen Reynolds at The
Southampton Press on Friday morning. ...more
By ek616367 (14), Southampton on Mar 18, 10 1:51 PM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By ek616367 (14), Southampton on Mar 18, 10 1:51 PM
Actually, we have the New York State records for the past ten years of
Jonathan Foster's tenure, and they show that he had not been certified between 2003 and 2009. Perhaps he was too busy with his daytime job --
selling real estate.
We had that official New York State record from a FOIL request, and, as
a matter of fact, I dropped off those documents and a summary of my comments to Mayor Epley and the trustees for Colleen Reynolds at The
Southampton Press on Friday morning. ...more
By ek616367 (14), Southampton on Mar 18, 10 1:51 PM
1 member liked this comment
When I go to the Village Building Dept, Jon is usually in his office.

2003-2009 were very busy years. It was a building boom. Why don't you FOIL how many hours Jon was at the Real Estate office.

The wall that fell on the laborer was put in after the foundation inspection. If Evergreen knew how inspections are done, this would not be used to smear a good mans name. Burube Builders added a wall (with no footing) after the waterproofing/foundation inspection. After this horrible ...more
By Draggerman (710), Southampton on Mar 19, 10 7:05 AM
Question: Why would an experienced local contractor with various projects in the Village add a wall, or anything else for that matter, if he knew that the building department would inspect the site at some point in the future? Wouldn't they have noticed it? Then what??????
By evergreen (19), Southampton on Mar 19, 10 3:54 PM
1 member liked this comment
Actually, Evergreen, Berube put up that wall AFTER the foundation waterproofing inspection. If he had backfilled, it never would have been noticed. If a contractor does something after inspection, before closing view to the affected area there is really no way to tell, unless something goes wrong down the road.

In the town, footing inspections are still not required. The Village requires footing and rebar inspections. Mr. Foster has attempted to rectify the issue, but that will only work ...more
By Draggerman (710), Southampton on Mar 19, 10 8:31 PM
Isn't it the job of the Building INSPECTOR to make sure that the builders are "HONEST"? I would think so!
By Dune (2), Southampton on Mar 20, 10 11:07 AM
Only by putting an inspector on every job, all the time. Or daily inspections. We could hire 20 more inspectors. Stimulate the economy. Then the Village would need more bean counters to deal with the payroll.
By Draggerman (710), Southampton on Mar 22, 10 10:02 PM
What prior "witch hunt" do you refer to? And why do you not identify yourself? I sign my opinions. Won't you do so too, please?
Evelyn Konrad
Attorney-at-Law
18 So. Rosko Drive
Southampton, New York 11968
ek616367@cs.com
By ek616367 (14), Southampton on Mar 23, 10 10:54 AM
What prior "witch hunt" do you refer to? And why don't you sign your
opinion? I always do. Won't you please also not hide behind anonimity? How
can we have an intelligent debate about the many issues surrounding the
Epley Administration if you simply make an ad feminam comment and hide
your identity? Instead, we could have a cup of coffee or glass of wine at
Driver's Seat, or you name it, and discuss the important issues which are
overhanging our unsold inventory of ...more
By ek616367 (14), Southampton on Mar 23, 10 10:59 AM
Perhaps, but in this bad economy, most people are scrambling for work.
At any rate, what is your point? Is this another anonimous (cowardly)
ad feminam attack on me, or are you making a comment about the Village
Building Inspector, who actually has two jobs: building inspector (with or
without portfolio) and real estate broker!
Perhaps we could have a fruitful dialog if you revealed who you are and
were willing to stand up for your comments. Heaven knows, I always ...more
By ek616367 (14), Southampton on Mar 23, 10 11:02 AM
The Building Inspector may have been busy--but all the more reason to make sure he was licensed and that the Building Code was being followed during those construction boom years. The laws were passed for a reason--safety of the homeowners AND workers. What about that unfortunate man who was killed when the cement wall collapsed on him at the North Sea accident site ??
By evergreen (19), Southampton on Mar 18, 10 3:29 PM
1 member liked this comment
is this also a conflict of intrest how can you sell realestate and ok inspections we should look into his sales and see if he also approved inspections of said properties this is why we need people like bill hughes stuff like this would not be hidden full discloserbuilding inspectors have to much authority,we should abolish the whole dept and allow people to build what they want on their own property the government the town have to much to say get rid of all these stupid inspections,fence,how many ...more
By earl of olay (13), hampton bays on Mar 18, 10 8:52 PM
is this also a conflict of intrest how can you sell realestate and ok inspections we should look into his sales and see if he also approved inspections of said properties this is why we need people like bill hughes stuff like this would not be hidden full discloserbuilding inspectors have to much authority,we should abolish the whole dept and allow people to build what they want on their own property the government the town have to much to say get rid of all these stupid inspections,fence,how many ...more
By earl of olay (13), hampton bays on Mar 18, 10 8:54 PM
How can a Building Inspector be a real estate agent!!! Baffles me. He issues building permits and inspects houses which one day may be sold by his fellow agents? Sounds like a conflict of interest ?? Plus he wasn't even certified!!!
By evergreen (19), Southampton on Mar 18, 10 11:40 PM
1 member liked this comment
ANOTHER JOKE OF THE HAMPTONS
By sjd (420), Westhampton Beach on Mar 19, 10 1:25 PM
1 member liked this comment
I bet he met the CE hours to keep his RE license.
By RemembertheDucks (54), Eastport on Mar 19, 10 4:29 PM
In my opinion it may not be a conflict of interest to sell real estate but he failed to honorably represent his office by not being certified. He should be fired...His behavior is disgraceful. Additionally, his lack of qualifications (concealed from the Village) would warrant a reinspection of everything he approved during the time he was uncertified in order to protect the public. i would think the Village has just assumed a significant amount of potential liability because of his behavior. Village ...more
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Mar 19, 10 6:18 PM


This woman is out of her mind! she just wants that house she calls a mac mansion in her neighborhood raised so she can have the biggest house on the block like she used to. Leave the guy alone already His house was done very tastefully.
When will you wack jobs learn to mind your own business?
By 27dan (2190), south hampton on Mar 20, 10 6:49 PM
1 member liked this comment
Hey 27 Dan, I assume you are not talking to me because I don't live in your village and i do not know know what the heck you are talking about.
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Mar 20, 10 6:54 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By 27dan (2190), south hampton on Mar 21, 10 12:45 AM
Mrs. K is just standing up to the developers who are a bunch of fly by night , up the Island carpetbaggers who don't care about our village because they don't live hear and have their roots in Smithtown or some other God awful part of suburbia!
By bigfresh (3092), north sea on Mar 21, 10 8:50 AM
3 members liked this comment
How is throwing Mr. Foster under the bus "standing up to the developers who are a bunch of fly by night". Jon is as local as you can get.
By Draggerman (710), Southampton on Mar 22, 10 10:00 PM
1 member liked this comment
Been hearing rumors about the building inspector and builders in SH for years. Isn't it about time to find out the truth?
By Dune (2), Southampton on Mar 21, 10 9:21 AM
Bigfresh do you ever listen to youself ???
By 27dan (2190), south hampton on Mar 21, 10 11:54 AM
According to the article, Mr. Foster's NYS certification as a building inspector has been valid during this entire time period, and continues to be valid. If I have misread the article, please post specific facts and details indicating any lack of state certification, and for what time period.
By PBR (4822), Southampton on Mar 22, 10 5:42 PM
1 member liked this comment
If he did not meet the qualifications to maintain certification he is not certified. I'm glad he is not a surgeon but the implications of his actions can be just as dangerous for the public.
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Mar 25, 10 6:49 PM
she dose not have any facts, she is just a mud raker. The lady lives in 1950
By 27dan (2190), south hampton on Mar 22, 10 9:25 PM
27dan: I call em as I see em! Why should a UTI (up the island) developer care about a community where they have no roots? They see it as a place to build out and leave, on to the next victim.
By bigfresh (3092), north sea on Mar 23, 10 7:07 AM
The people that are buying these houses have a wright to their vision of the Hampton's...As well as you and miss Konrad. You seem to not want any progress for our area. Build out is going to happen unless we preserve the remaining land. I am just tied of you all preaching about the uber house.Lets face it most of you just don't want you taxes to go up. I have been to miss konrads neighborhood I have seen the 3 or 4 homes she says are disgraceful. and I am sorry but I don't get it, They are beautiful.
By 27dan (2190), south hampton on Mar 23, 10 10:13 AM
Please notice that all my comments published in 27 E and my letters to the
editor in The Southampton Press correctly state my name. I always stand
four-square for and with my stated opinions.
This has not been the case with the sometimes-illiterate, but virtually always ad feminam, attacks on me. Would you please either (1) let us know
who posted the "witch-hunt" and other derogatory comments about me,
because they may give the police a clue about the persons responsible ...more
By ek616367 (14), Southampton on Mar 23, 10 10:51 AM
Ms. Konrad's ugly attempt to have Jon Foster fired because she can't get her way has drawn criticism, so she cries "ad feminam" and calls her critics "illiterate." Konrad needs to realize that change is not always popular when it happens. Some people saw her own community as a lower-class, up-island, (horrors!) "development" that had no business in the Village when it was built. They got over it, and so should she.
By SusieD (109), Southampton on Mar 23, 10 12:17 PM
1 member liked this comment
"...it's a small town, you know what I mean, it's a small town, son, and we all support the team."

At what cost?? Very scary....
Intro quote by James McMurthy and reoccurring theme in "Under the Dome" by Stephen King.
By Chester (4), Southampton on Mar 26, 10 12:00 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By 27dan (2190), south hampton on Mar 23, 10 7:18 PM
27dan- In one of your earlier comments about deer control, you wrote that you lived in the "village of Easthampton" ???? I don' know where you actually do live, but you obviously don't even know how to spell "Southampton" (It's one word not two--anyone from the East End knows that!)!) I don't think you know as much as you think you do!!! Also, I read the comment you wrote above (at 7:18 PM)before it was deleted--NOT nice!!
By evergreen (19), Southampton on Mar 23, 10 8:50 PM
yes, yes, You got me Southampton is one word.... big deal. and I have several property's. I guess that makes me an evil capitalist.lol
By 27dan (2190), south hampton on Mar 24, 10 2:23 AM
27dan- No, it doesn't make you "an evil capitalist. lol", but it does make one wonder if you don't have "ulterior" (correct spelling) motives?? Definitely not laughing!! PS: The word is "properties".
By evergreen (19), Southampton on Mar 24, 10 12:46 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By 27dan (2190), south hampton on Mar 24, 10 3:33 PM
the editor is an a hole
By 27dan (2190), south hampton on Mar 24, 10 6:55 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Chester (4), Southampton on Mar 25, 10 11:58 PM
I purposefully posted the quote twice- the second at the end because it seemed to get lost in the thread above: "...it's a small town, you know what I mean, it's a small town, son, and we all support the team."
At what cost?? Very scary....(Intro quote by James McMurthy and reoccurring theme in "Under the Dome" by Stephen King.)
By Chester (4), Southampton on Mar 26, 10 11:05 AM
Remnants, area rugs, rolls in stock