Firestorm: Marco Island City Council chambers packed for spur-of-the-moment meeting on inspections

City Manager Jim Riviere makes an opening statement. He got all the public comment he could ask for at a meeting in council chambers, addressing and listening to a packed house on the subject of building inspections Tuesday afternoon. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

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City Manager Jim Riviere makes an opening statement. He got all the public comment he could ask for at a meeting in council chambers, addressing and listening to a packed house on the subject of building inspections Tuesday afternoon. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

City Manager Jim Riviere makes an opening statement. He got all the public comment he could ask for at a meeting in council chambers, addressing and listening to a packed house on the subject of building inspections Tuesday afternoon. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

Photo by LANCE SHEARER // Buy this photo

City Manager Jim Riviere makes an opening statement. He got all the public comment he could ask for at a meeting in council chambers, addressing and listening to a packed house on the subject of building inspections Tuesday afternoon. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

Contractor Ed Ehler questions the timing of the possible inspection switch. City Manager Jim Riviere got all the public comment he could ask for at a meeting in council chambers, addressing and listening to a packed house on the subject of building inspections Tuesday afternoon. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

Photo by LANCE SHEARER // Buy this photo

Contractor Ed Ehler questions the timing of the possible inspection switch. City Manager Jim Riviere got all the public comment he could ask for at a meeting in council chambers, addressing and listening to a packed house on the subject of building inspections Tuesday afternoon. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

Builder John Slocum tells the crowd county inspections are problematic. City Manager Jim Riviere got all the public comment he could ask for at a meeting in council chambers, addressing and listening to a packed house on the subject of building inspections Tuesday afternoon. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

Photo by LANCE SHEARER // Buy this photo

Builder John Slocum tells the crowd county inspections are problematic. City Manager Jim Riviere got all the public comment he could ask for at a meeting in council chambers, addressing and listening to a packed house on the subject of building inspections Tuesday afternoon. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

Audience members listen to the discussion.  City Manager Jim Riviere got all the public comment he could ask for at a meeting in council chambers, addressing and listening to a packed house on the subject of building inspections Tuesday afternoon. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

Photo by LANCE SHEARER // Buy this photo

Audience members listen to the discussion. City Manager Jim Riviere got all the public comment he could ask for at a meeting in council chambers, addressing and listening to a packed house on the subject of building inspections Tuesday afternoon. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

Marriott general manager Rick Medwedeff speaks to the Marco council chambers in May 2012. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

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Marriott general manager Rick Medwedeff speaks to the Marco council chambers in May 2012. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

Contractor Joe Virgo extols the cooperation between tradesmen and city inspectors. City Manager Jim Riviere got all the public comment he could ask for at a meeting in council chambers, addressing and listening to a packed house on the subject of building inspections Tuesday afternoon. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

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Contractor Joe Virgo extols the cooperation between tradesmen and city inspectors. City Manager Jim Riviere got all the public comment he could ask for at a meeting in council chambers, addressing and listening to a packed house on the subject of building inspections Tuesday afternoon. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

— Marco Island saw a prime example of democracy in action on Tuesday. In a hastily convened meeting to provide a public forum, City Manager Jim Riviere heard from a packed house in the City Council chambers, as a standing room only crowd vented their displeasure over the idea of moving building inspection services to the county.

The meeting opened with a brief opening statement by Riviere, in which he assured the audience that the discussion was only preliminary, and there would be no immediate shift of Marco Island's building inspectors to the Collier County staff.

"I'm giving serious reconsideration to my decision," said Riviere. "To those who were offended, I apologize, and to those who don't understand what I did, I'm trying to explain." He guesstimated that keeping inspectors on the city payroll could cost an additional 35 percent or more. "One of the things we might be doing right away is holding hearings on raising fees," said Riviere.

With that, the floor was turned over to the public for comment, moderated by City Attorney Burt Saunders with the assistance of City Councilor Wayne Waldack. Speaker after speaker rose to laud the city staff, and paint dire pictures of what would happen if the change were made.

The meeting presented the spectacle of Islanders actually singing the praises of their bureaucrats, and cheering the many citizens who rose to speak in favor of paying higher government fees, if that's what it would take to keep inspections being handled locally.

With a recovery underway after several terrible years for the building industry, losing local inspections would be the quickest way to put a damper on the return to prosperity, attendees agreed. First to speak was longtime Marco architect Herb Savage.

"If we have to raise fees, that's what we have to do," he said, his booming affirmation garnering general applause. Contractor Ed Ehlen noted the change was announced after the end of season, with many winter residents away.

"You guys did perfect timing. No one's here," he said.

Longtime island builder John Slocum spoke of his experience over the years with trying to get inspections in a timely manner from the county building department.

"When you call for an inspection from Naples, you're the bastard child," he said. "That's just the way it is. The county comes out when they feel like it. They say, 'we never found you,' or 'there's nobody on the site.' " The Marco Island department, by contrast, is "a first class operation," he said.

Mechanical contractor Don Condee, on the island since 1969, took issue with the characterization of the relationship between craftsmen and inspectors as "buddy-buddy."

"We cooperate with each other. That's the way is should be," he said. Brian McMahon spoke of how the city inspectors helped him through the morass of regulations and permitting, to accomplish $387,000 worth of repairs after Hurricane Wilma.

Todd Schneider of APM Homes called the city inspectors "tough, but fair."

Marco Island Marriott general manager Rick Medwedeff said his company was undertaking $15 million of projects this year, "and Mac Chaudry (of the Hilton) will be doing a lot as well." He worried about the impact of having to go to Collier County for permitting and inspections for all that work. The county had held up one job for six months – "and that was for a bathroom. We take our rooms out of inventory for renovations. It's very time sensitive," he said.

Ray Seward said a lot more contractors and businesspeople would have attended, except for the meeting being called on such short notice.

Bill Lewis, an island architect since 1984, said, "I've never had one person say I wish we were back with the county."

Riviere promised that no action would be taken on the proposal without a vote by the City Council, and said he never intended to make the change within a week, as had been reported.

"I don't know where that June 2 date came from," he said. After the meeting, he said he felt he had no choice but to announce and hold the public forum so quickly.

"It was a firestorm. I wanted to get everybody back to work," he said. "I didn't announce the meeting until 9:30, and we had people here by 3:30," said Riviere. "That's pretty damn good."

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Comments » 33

happy6 writes:

the questions that need to be answered by the city mgr is...where the building dept money went...his funny math just did not add up...guess he's not used to being questioned by people who work with numbers all day long.
this was/is a hair-brained idea that ms. laura litzen has supposedly been working on for over 1 year...what a joke....get rid of m.s l. and use that savings for the building dept.

ed34145 writes:

Haven't we had enough of the city manager's lack of knowledge, lack of experience, and ineptitude? He was hired to be the puppet of certain council members. It's time to hire a real city manager.

condoseller writes:

While I give Mr. Riviere credit for facing the crowd on Tuesday, I simply find him to be overbearing and egotistical. His quote in this article proves this.

If it is true that Ms. Litzan has been working on a plan to transfer the responsibilities of the city Building Services to the County for one year, why hasn't there been any public discussion on the matter? Instead, Mr. Riviere compliments himself for holding a public meeting on short notice and getting a full room. It appears he sees that as a success. Instead it is a failure because the room was not filled with people happy to be included in policy dialogue, it was filled with people so angry with his decision that we dropped everything to attend.

Mr. Riviere displays a pattern of releasing news about staff and city changes on Friday afternoons. With the building services, on a Friday before a 3-day weekend. His "Wall St." strategy for releasing what some may consider as bad news late on Fridays so it can be lost or tempered over the weekend break, has failed this time. People are angry. His Monday morning quarterbacking on raising fees to support costs associated with building services expenses is a "Jimmy come lately" approach. He should have held that discussion with island contractors months ago because it is clear his actions have been deliberate and carried out in the shade.

Wtiohut the "Firestorm" his arrogance would prevent any opportunity for reconsideration.

His accusation that inspectors are "buddy, buddy" with contractors is an instult to the many highly competent contractors who work on Marco Island and an insult to dedicated and competent city employees. It makes you wonder how he feels about the rest of the City staff since he so freely makes condescending remarks about the inspectors? The Eagle should investigate who Mr. Riviere is "buddy, buddy" with and perhaps it will explain some of his decisions.

Sadly, I feel it is time for City Council to search for a new City Manager. One who truly practices collaboration, works in the sunshine, appreciates our island community and who respects the authority that comes with their position.

I still believe Marco Island is better because it is a City. I don't feel Mr. Riviere shares this belief. If he did, he would have a higher value for the opinions of residents and the work of his staff.

blindguy2 writes:

Condoseller, Well Done.

happyhorowitz34145 writes:

Condoseller, very well stated.
Mr. Riviere should be investigated by the state for violating the "Sunshine Law".
If Laura Lipstick has been secretly working on this for a year, why did Riviere make the statement a the begining of the meeting on Tuesday that he's been in conversation with a county official for 1 1/2 years on this deal.
Where was Laura Lipstick when this decision was announced last Friday or better yet, where was she for the meeting?

MrBreeze writes:

This is just another example of how this island is run by contractors, realators, and service business.

Contractors on Marco Island are not "pimples on real tradesmen butts"

Ever notice how they are all transplants from other areas where they boast of the "big business" they had back home but are now here just to give you the personall service you deserve. Translated that means they went broke back home and ran off to the sun with peoples money to do it all over again. I for one will not and never hire any of them.

They come in do a poor job the inspector protects them and the homeowner gets the short end of the deal and then forced to turn to the legal system spending even more money.

Its a shame the power that is behind the scenes on this island. It is big and powerfull as just seen here the money speaks loud.

26yearsonmarco writes:

It is apparent to me that one of Mr. Riviere’s many Degrees is in Marketing.

I believe he and his staffs motive from the beginning was to find ways to get “We the People” to agree to an increase in fees for service.

One of the oldest Marketing techniques is called “The Take Away” method that almost always results in a closed sale, and “We the People” fell for it in a big way.

RayPray writes:

in response to MrBreeze:

This is just another example of how this island is run by contractors, realators, and service business.

Contractors on Marco Island are not "pimples on real tradesmen butts"

Ever notice how they are all transplants from other areas where they boast of the "big business" they had back home but are now here just to give you the personall service you deserve. Translated that means they went broke back home and ran off to the sun with peoples money to do it all over again. I for one will not and never hire any of them.

They come in do a poor job the inspector protects them and the homeowner gets the short end of the deal and then forced to turn to the legal system spending even more money.

Its a shame the power that is behind the scenes on this island. It is big and powerfull as just seen here the money speaks loud.

So true!

chinkley writes:

Mr.Riviere has been doing things "in the dark" ever since he was rushed in as City Manager by then City Council chairman Recker. He is unqualified and untruthful, but a consumate politician.

Melery writes:

In response to MrBreeze:

"Ever notice how they are all transplants from other areas where they boast of the "big business" they had back home but are now here just to give you the personall service you deserve."

Please sir do a little more research. There are many Contractors and Service Companies that have started their companies on Marco Island Florida and have not moved their company's from another state.

I find your comments very offensive and not productive

Marco a City is our home also and if we let the city outsourcing the building inspectors what will be next.

Throat_Yogurt writes:

Silly idea but we should make qualifications to be on city counsel. say minimum 25yrs on the island to start out with. Our current counsel members all have S4B

buckeyenut writes:

Glad to see Todd from APM home had time to make it to the meeting, usually he is trying to find a new contractor for each trade as he has screwed everyone that worked for him in the past

marcofriend writes:

Hopefully our illustrous City Council members can now question themselves as to the perfect rating they gave to "Doctor" Riviere for his performance last month. Probably this will be used for a nice raise and/or bonus for him.

When you brought him in to clean up City Hall, it was fine. You should never have kept him on in a position where he is in way over his head. It is not fair to the residents.

naples_rocket writes:

oh, my. No wonder this Country is in shambles. I honestly have no clue whether transferring inspections to the county would be a good decision or bad. But there is this little thing called DUE PROCESS. Which is a fundamental principle of the democratic government, Mr. Breeze, RayPray et al.

MrBreeze writes:

Melery, I think I have done my research well. I go out and look at jobs in progress, talk with "local" contractors, have been offered jobs with them after talking with them. I have been told how much money one can make on "markup" island as they have referred to Marco Island.

When I talk shop with them as I am well versed in construction they shure like to brag alot about the costs of jobs on the island. Now I am not saying that all trades are bad on the island but what I say about the transplants is true I have seen it with my own eyes. Sad to say, most of your so called "contractors" see two things on Marco. 1st money, 2nd homeowners with money needing to have services done. This combination along with cronies makes for a bad situatuion. Like I said They are not pimples on butts.

Naples Rocket, I get inspections every day on construction projects. I do not care who the inspector is as long as they know the code and how to apply it. If it is someone I know the process does move smoother but if it is a good inspector he or she will write their own mother a violation if the job is not right plain and simple. But many times the buddy system kicks in and no one wants to offend so the job may pass by bare means and I will not stand for that. I want the right inspection so I am proud of my job and name not the bare min. that is how you gain respect in the trades. So rocket I do not care if I see a new face every time I welcome it.

So where does due process apply here? The job of the inspector is to apply the codes to protect all involved plain and simple. That is the only due process needed.

condoseller writes:

I'm disappointed that the Eagle has not offered any follow-up articles on this very important matter. Surely, members of our City Council have opinions on "orders" Mr. Riviere gave city staff to report to Collier County for duty in the future. The May 25th issue of the Eagle stated, "Marco Island City Manager Jim Riviere met with staff and explained a new collaboration he worked out with Collier County's building department. The island's four inspectors will become county employees working with a pooled staff that serves all of Collier County."

The article also stated, "Riviere said before his time as city manager, Community Development Director Steve Olmsted promised to cross-train inspectors rather than compartmentalize them into their respective fields. Riviere said he didn't make good on that promise. Olmsted was fired one week after Riviere became city manager." If the quote accurately portrays Mr. Riviere's position then hasn't he failed too? Mr. Olmsted was fired 2-years ago. Why hasn't Mr. Riviere insured the cross training occurred on his watch? He has had two years to complete that cross training, hasn't he? Wasn't that his goal?

I truly believe Mr. Riviere is set on dissolving City government step by step, inch by inch, department by department. That is where the due process comes in. Mr. Riviere is responsible for seeing that major decisions, like the one he already made, is presented in public forums so the public can be part of the "due process".

Steve Thompson was appropriately reprimanded and ultimately terminated when he failed to be transparent with the public and City Council. How is it that Mr. Riviere isn't required to meet the same performance standard? It is evident to many who work periodically or frequently with City Hall that he leads with his ego and rational process comes later. The morale at City Hall for many staffers is low because they fear Riviere and his next "collaboration" where he intentionally excludes Marco Islanders, the people he works for, from the table.

Again, I believe Marco Island deserves a City Manager who can competently lead our city; someone who can "build" our community into the happy and friendly place community it once was.

MrBreeze writes:

Condoseller does the "build" of our community equal realestate transactions for yourself?

I ask that due to your name "condoseller"

condoseller writes:

Mr. Breeze - - No, I am now retired and am not looking for personal gain. My reference to "build" is to build a sense of community where there is ample opportunity to discuss important issues, good and consistent communication from city leaders on challenges and opportunities and good celebration of our life in one of the most beautiful places in America. If such opportunities are consistently offered and community input is embraced, all of Marco prospers.

Simple community engagement which seems to be intentionally avoided by Mr. Riviere, particularly in this case, is all that I seek.

happy6 writes:

mrbreeze...you're really full of it...as well as raypray....sounds to me like you're just one big blowhard , know it all....that actually knows nothing....you need to have your head inspected to see whare the matter went.

RayPray writes:

in response to happy6:

mrbreeze...you're really full of it...as well as raypray....sounds to me like you're just one big blowhard , know it all....that actually knows nothing....you need to have your head inspected to see whare the matter went.

"you're really full of it."

"you need to have your head inspected to see whare the matter went."

WHARE?

Reality is in 3 dimensions & sharp.

Shadow is nothing more than some inconsequential gray obfuscation of this reality....

duhuhuhha writes:

in response to MrBreeze:

Melery, I think I have done my research well. I go out and look at jobs in progress, talk with "local" contractors, have been offered jobs with them after talking with them. I have been told how much money one can make on "markup" island as they have referred to Marco Island.

When I talk shop with them as I am well versed in construction they shure like to brag alot about the costs of jobs on the island. Now I am not saying that all trades are bad on the island but what I say about the transplants is true I have seen it with my own eyes. Sad to say, most of your so called "contractors" see two things on Marco. 1st money, 2nd homeowners with money needing to have services done. This combination along with cronies makes for a bad situatuion. Like I said They are not pimples on butts.

Naples Rocket, I get inspections every day on construction projects. I do not care who the inspector is as long as they know the code and how to apply it. If it is someone I know the process does move smoother but if it is a good inspector he or she will write their own mother a violation if the job is not right plain and simple. But many times the buddy system kicks in and no one wants to offend so the job may pass by bare means and I will not stand for that. I want the right inspection so I am proud of my job and name not the bare min. that is how you gain respect in the trades. So rocket I do not care if I see a new face every time I welcome it.

So where does due process apply here? The job of the inspector is to apply the codes to protect all involved plain and simple. That is the only due process needed.

mrBreeze, it is obvious you know nothing about that which you speak. "markup island", indeed. Please, go ahead, get quotes for work from Naples contractors, then from Marco contractors. I would bet 90% of the Naples contractors prices are FAR higher than Marco Contractors. As a service contractor on Marco, I see it daily. I also can’t imagine anyone speaking with you for any length of time and then finding themselves wanting to “work with” you. I quote my work using standard business markups so I and my business can survive, just as most of the other contracting businesses on Marco do. I see the grossly overpriced options of my competitors from Naples on a regular basis. Many don’t come to Marco any longer as their methods of high pressure sales and high prices are discovered the moment a Marco resident gets competing quotes from a Marco Contractor. If I want to make higher profits, I need only strive to complete work in Naples as my competition there is almost always a good 30% higher than my pricing on Marco.
We have a perfectly competent building department dedicated to servicing and protecting our islands residents. The whole “buddy buddy” comment smacks of slander and is totally baseless. Get rid of this joke of a city manager, who works so very hard to say one thing and then do another and PLEASE get rid of Laura Lipstick and the perceived means with which she continues to hide the "so called" accounting processes she uses to determine where the money is.

happy6 writes:

hey klaus...at least i speak English that can be understood...:)

RayPray writes:

in response to duhuhuhha:

mrBreeze, it is obvious you know nothing about that which you speak. "markup island", indeed. Please, go ahead, get quotes for work from Naples contractors, then from Marco contractors. I would bet 90% of the Naples contractors prices are FAR higher than Marco Contractors. As a service contractor on Marco, I see it daily. I also can’t imagine anyone speaking with you for any length of time and then finding themselves wanting to “work with” you. I quote my work using standard business markups so I and my business can survive, just as most of the other contracting businesses on Marco do. I see the grossly overpriced options of my competitors from Naples on a regular basis. Many don’t come to Marco any longer as their methods of high pressure sales and high prices are discovered the moment a Marco resident gets competing quotes from a Marco Contractor. If I want to make higher profits, I need only strive to complete work in Naples as my competition there is almost always a good 30% higher than my pricing on Marco.
We have a perfectly competent building department dedicated to servicing and protecting our islands residents. The whole “buddy buddy” comment smacks of slander and is totally baseless. Get rid of this joke of a city manager, who works so very hard to say one thing and then do another and PLEASE get rid of Laura Lipstick and the perceived means with which she continues to hide the "so called" accounting processes she uses to determine where the money is.

MARKUP Island is it!

Unless it's an emergency, I will always hire someone from Bonita or Ft Myers.

They may not advertise here, but when you ask if they will come give you an estimate, they are always happy to do so.

These guys are not only significantly cheaper, but also you don't get that how lucky you are I bothered to show up attitude.

In pricing some jobs, I found island contractors were not just, say, 15% higher, but often double.

Why not?

Many of my neighbors are rarely here and just pay these guys without checking the invoices.

then there is the matter of contractors who are your neighbors prowling around and then reporting you to local code nazis, hoping to pick up extra business.

RayPray writes:

in response to happy6:

hey klaus...at least i speak English that can be understood...:)

You give unique poignancy to the term nitwit

MrBreeze writes:

Duhuh, Get real.I know what I speak.Are you you to believe that I am so s----- to believe you. I am a GC and run a project every day. "clicks" or "buddys" exist everwhere. Collier County is one of the most expensive countys for trades. The reason all the trades priced high is the area. Ever price lawn cutting on Marco VS Lawn cutting in Tampa or Sarasota? or North Florida. The reason is the area the trades charge more due to the demagrapic of income.

If the bids you are competing against are 30% higher then you prove out my point. What is mor expensive a job in Manhatten or a job in Idaho?

And the term "markup island" has been around a long time it was told to me 14years ago when I bought my house there.

This "laura Lipstick" person you refer to I think is slander if anything and who are you a mere contractor have anything to say who is hired or fired if there is nothing for you to loose or gain?

Again pal the CODES and REGULATIONS are what is important not the inspector get it. Sounds to me like you are not to shure of yourself and afraid of a new game and new faces rolling in. I welcome it bring it on.

Shadow, I once thought you had some basis but you sound like a "flip flopper" to me who blows with the wind.

Although I do not consider myself a "know it all" I believe my training, licensing,30 years in trade and my "expert" status as deemed by the legal system in construction areas would far exceed your knowledge in construction and Code Regulation.

CaptTimD writes:

As I wrote to the Naples News regarding this issue it should not matter to the contractors who does the inspections. The only thing should be that they are timely and correct. The sole function of the inspectors is to protect the public by ensuring that the building codes are rigorously being followed. That, however, is a minimum standard inspection and that is what I was told by the Marco Building Official himself.

I do not believe there is any room within a regulatory structure for a list of "Preferred Contractors". That should be left for Angie's List not the city or the county building inspection departments.

For contractors to be concerned that inspections are not going to be done timely is a legitimate concern but any other concerns are not. To say that Marco will fall prey to "unlicensed contractors" is just screaming that the sky is going to fall. Rigorous enforcement by whoever is checking permits is the only answer to that problem.

I can tell you from personal experience that I had numerous problems with inspections and things not up to code. The City's Building Official told me directly that he would pass whatever he had to to just get our contractor off the island. Nice plan for us. By the way our builder was a Florida Licensed Contractor and when we went to take the Builder's Licensees to the State Department of Professional Regulation the complaints were dismissed summarily because we had been issued a Certificate of Occupancy. That despite two reports from professional inspectors attesting to the problems and numerous things not meeting code. Ask yourself how the inspector could be doing his job and miss the fact that NO roof vents were installed or that walk-in showers on a second floor would not have shower pans installed. The list goes on and on and includes much more serious issues and questions such as the actual PSI rating of concrete used for the second floor and the lack of a definitive deck inspection.

Actually the best course of action would be for the city to collect fees for permits and allow the individual to hire an outside inspector to ensure work was done to code and more. That would then make said inspector legally liable for failure to perform something the current governmental entities are not.

tnjessen writes:

Mr. Breeze - Kudos to you for taking a strong stand filled with pride and principles. I have no doubt there are many good contractors in the business like you and only wish that I was lucky enough to get one. When we had problems with two different contractors I went to the city and pulled all the paperwork. I thought I would look to the inspectors to find why certain things occurred or did not occur. Rather than getting help from the city I was ignored when it came to light that the work these contractors did had not been inspected.
The first contractor could not dispute my proof because they were given a choice to either fix the problem they created or go in front of the licensing board to be disciplined. They chose to rectify the situation. The city, however, continues to ignore the fact that they are liable too as they didn’t inspect the job and even stood by their so called inspection until the yard was dug up and they were proved wrong.
The second contractor is playing the denial game which has forced me to obtain legal assistance. The city, knowing they have the proof, decided to ignore & deny rather than accept liability. Their only interest is to protect the employee. While working with other contractors to fix things I discovered the city plumbing inspector used to work for the contractor that I have the problem with. Hmmmm
My husband who is in the trades (out of state) says it’s not normal for a contractor to like the inspectors, it’s just a fact. So when Riviere said he was bothered by the fact that everyone was so buddy, buddy he knew exactly what he was saying.

tnjessen writes:

They are strong accusations but they are true and there is plenty of documentation to back it up. All documents would provide one with facts that would make most peoples head spin. I welcomed others to any and all documents I have regarding this and this goes out to you also. Funny thing is that people want to give an opinion but won't get the facts as I offered. Klaus - please give me a call and I will drive the papers over to you to look at and then I would love to have your opinion. Toni Jessen 847-962-3306. As stated in front of council and CCLB I am a voice for those citizens such as the elderly or the people not living here year round to speak up and ask for the government to do their job as they are the ones requiring permits. They need to do their jobs and do them right.

MrBreeze writes:

tnjessen thank you for the comment and sorry that you have had a bad experience.

CaptTimd you understand it totally.

Wonder what happened to Shadow?

26yearsonmarco writes:

To MrBreeze & CaptTomD:

You both seem to have a long experience on Marco Island. I have seen many absentee home builders that were shafted by fly by night contractors who were, and are now, being miss-lead by low-ball advertising, ie: $170/+/- per sf.

People like some of the commentators to this story do not understand that an Inspectors job is to insure compliance with codes, and are not there to inspect, or comment on the Quality of the work, or the person performing the work.

Unless they are buying a “Cookie Cutter”, from a builder with a set of plans, I believe a person planning to build here should first work with an Architect and Engineer, pay for, and own a set of plans. Then take multiple bids for the project from Contractors willing to work on the Project Management, Cost Plus Approach, and show the Client at least two bids for every item in the home.

This will result in a high quality home, and result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings.

Do you agree???

tnjessen writes:

Klaus - your apology is accepted and appreciated. I never asked for the problems I've encountered I am only trying to make people aware.
People should be outraged when these things happen as taxpayers are the ones that suffer. I prevailed in rectifying the problem with the one contractor only because I pursued heavily and finally obtained all the documentation to prove I was right. I am currently in the process of doing the same with the second contractor and know I will eventually prevail. In the meantime though, it is the city building official that has made this so difficult.
You see when a building official signs off on something (whether right or wrong) his word is like gold. You have to go to great lengths to have his answer overturned. Most people don’t realize there is a process they can pursue or they walk away because the process is time consuming and a financial burden. In my situation I have the facts and documents to prove he should not have signed off on the contractors work but now I have the hurdle in getting that overturned which is and has been a financial burden and has taken me away from my family many times while they are in Illinois and I’m in Marco trying to work this.
Both of the jobs I had done have unfortunately turned into large problems which I have to deal with because I hired them. The government requires permits and inspections which would be fine if they did their jobs. When something goes wrong they look the other way and the tax payer is stuck with all of the expense and burden. Not everyone has the time or money to pursue things such as I have and would have given up long ago. They may end up with substandard work that in the end could cause harm.

MrBreeze writes:

26years I agree. I think the most important part a building a new home on Marco Island would be for the owner of the new home to have their own independent inspector to sign off before ANY funds are paid to subcontractors. This guarntees all work complies with code and regulation the third party engineer has a duty to uphold and the job will turn out correctly. I would also recommend the that the homeowner have a contract with the engineer that holds him liable also in the event of an issue down the line before turnover of the project. That will protect all involved.

26yearsonmarco writes:

in response to MrBreeze:

26years I agree. I think the most important part a building a new home on Marco Island would be for the owner of the new home to have their own independent inspector to sign off before ANY funds are paid to subcontractors. This guarntees all work complies with code and regulation the third party engineer has a duty to uphold and the job will turn out correctly. I would also recommend the that the homeowner have a contract with the engineer that holds him liable also in the event of an issue down the line before turnover of the project. That will protect all involved.

I agree, and did this with two Engineering firms in Naples until about 10 years ago, and are called draw inspections.
This included single family homes, major Condo projects, and Developer Turnovers.
Nothing gives a Builder more incentive to do things right when they know their Draw Request can be reduced, or denied.

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