Ocean Beach appoints new building inspector

People enjoy the sun on the beach in People enjoy the sun on the beach in Ocean Beach, Fire Island. Newsday photo by Michael E. Ach. Sept. 10, 2001. Photo Credit: Newsday Michael E. Ach

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The Village of Ocean Beach appointed a new building inspector at its monthly board meeting Saturday, one year after officials say the previous full-time inspector resigned.

Village Clerk-Treasurer Stephen Brautigam said Louis Santora beat out six other qualified applicants for the post, which pays $62,000 a year. A part-time inspector had been filling in since last August.

Brautigam said Santora, who starts Sept. 4, will have to complete 24 credits of building inspection classes within a year of hiring. The village covers the cost of the courses.

During the public comment period, resident Claire Hassid complained that the signs posted to advise residents and visitors about strict beach rules and the village code on eating, drinking and biking aren't effective.

Hassid, who heads a consulting firm for brand marketing, offered her services free of charge to help the village develop bolder, more eye-catching signs. She offered the Fire Island Ferries' "No bikes, no way, don't even ask" sign as an example.

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Trustee Matthew Blake said he would work with Hassid on the project.

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"I'd rather have a code that's enforceable than a code that just says a bunch of words" and has no impact, he said.

Fake IDs have also been a problem for Ocean Beach police this summer.

Mayor James Mallott gestured to two thick stacks of the bogus IDs that were confiscated from minors in July and August at the village's heavily trafficked bars.

The "novelty" IDs, which are inexpensive and can be ordered online, "have your real address, your real name -- the only thing that's different is the birthday," Mallott said. The IDs have holograms and bar codes, and pass scanner tests.

Trustee Gregory Pace gave an update on the Fire Island village's high season, noting that there have been 10,000 more ferry passengers than last summer, when Fire Island Ferries transported 380,000 people to Ocean Beach. Blake said there were 102 fire department calls last month, 10 percent more than July 2011.

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