Open letter to council, mayor

The Alameda Sun received a copy of this letter addressed to the Mayor and members of the City Council.

Dear Mayor Spencer and council members:
In your current budget deliberations, please consider the serious and pressing need for additional building inspectors to handle the substantial number of new residential units that have recently been authorized for Alameda. 

Over the past 30 years, I have seen several examples of low-quality construction that have been accepted, including our own brand-new house. 

Together with 15 of our neighbors, we filed a successful lawsuit against the builder, leading to the complete replacement of defective siding.
Since that time, however, widespread adoption of the practice of “design-build” construction has largely eliminated architect/engineer inspections prior to acceptance of buildings, so the only check on quality of work is being done by the building inspector.

Since housing comprises much of the value of property in Alameda, its inherent quality is of prime importance. For this reason I request that you resist the easy temptation to go along with some of the budget proposals put forth by the previous City Council and allow sufficient time to fully assess the situation you have inherited while you still have a little time.

— Ewart “Red” Wetherill, AIA Emeritus