Politicians Protect Fly-by-Night Contractors

Carmen Santora, Executive Director of the Better Contractors Bureau (BCB) said “ this year more fly-by-night contractors than ever have come from out of town to work in the Monroe County area. They come here to scam the consumers and take advantage of seniors, as they know there are no regulations to stop them. They have no insurance, no contracts, do shoddy work, give phony guarantees and take the money and run. They some times take large deposits and don’t do the work at all. There are also local contractors that do the same thing”. He said, “Now is the time to put a stop to it to protect our consumers”.

Representatives of the BCB a while ago met with the Majority leader of the Republican Party and the Minority leader of the Democrat Party of the Monroe County legislature to plead their case for the Registration of all contractors in Monroe County. Santora explained that over 40 states have formal licensing or registration and in those states complaints are much lower than here. He also wrote a draft of the proposed Registration law and the application in order to address any possible concerns that the County legislators might come up with. He also addressed a possible problem of the County representatives saying that they do not have the funds to administer the law. He proposed that the BCB a non-profit agency would set up an office, staff it and administer the law for the county for a small fee.

He said many of the legitimate contractors are in favor of the proposed law, as they feel that because all contractors would have to be insured, have legal contracts and require addresses and driver’s license numbers to be registered they would now be competing on equal terms and the low $100 annual fee would not be a hardship. It would also give the BCB the ability to track the out of town fly-by-night contractors.

Unfortunately after the meeting he was informed by the Majority leader of the Republican Party that he and some of his colleagues felt that the proposed law would just be another layer of government bureaucracy, only adding to the New York State’s crippling economy and government fees and be too cumbersome on small businesses.

It seems that the elected county officials (not all) are more concerned with protecting the dishonest contractors than the consumers who put them in office. The Registration of contractors would protect the consumer (especially seniors), not tax the consumers, not be costly to the local contractors, and bring much needed revenue to the County’s budget. (Over 10,000 contractors in Monroe County X $100 fee annually = one million dollars per year)

He asks that consumers call their area elected County representatives at either 753-1922 or 753-1940 and ask that the powers to be at least enable the entire County Legislature to vote on the proposal and not accept a decision by just a couple of individuals who are more concerned about protecting scam artist contractors than their constituents who they represent.

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