Thursday, April 24, 2014

Plumbing the Issue of Plumbers

Last night, the Legal Committee of the Common Council discussed the perceived problem of obtaining a plumbing license from the City of Hudson. John Mason reports on the plumbing catch-22 in today's Register-Star: "Hudson cannot license plumbers." According to the discussion last night, duly reported by Mason, the City cannot issue a temporary license for a master plumber licensed by another municipality to do work in Hudson because someone seeking such a license must pass an exam administered by the Plumbing Commissionvariously called the Plumbing Board, the Board of Plumbers, and the Examining Board of Plumberswhich is also the body that must issue the license. There are allegedly four plumbers lined up to take the exam and get temporary licenses, but this cannot happen because there is no Plumbing Commission and the city code prohibits any city employee from administering the exam and issuing a license. Code enforcement officer Craig Haigh reported last night that the Plumbing Commission was abolished by a resolution passed by the Common Council a year or so ago.

Being a fanatical Common Council watcher and not having any recollection of such a resolution, Gossips contacted the city clerk this morning to find out exactly when this resolution had been passed. What was learned was that there had been no such resolution. What had happened was that salaries for the members of the Board of Plumbers had been removed as a budget item by the BEA (Board of Estimate and Apportionment, made up of the mayor, the treasurer, and the Common Council president) during the 2012 budget process. That action did not require a resolution by the Council, nor presumably did it dissolve the commission.

So the question remains whether or not there actually is a Plumbing Commission, and if there is, who serves on it. Members must be master plumbers. It is being assumed that there isn't one, since the discussion of the topic at last night's Legal Committee meeting concluded with committee chair John Friedman asking Council president Don Moore to speak with the mayor to see if we can "get the board back so we can deal with this pent up demand."

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