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The Buildings Commissioner Goes: React-O-Matic

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Buildings Commissioner Patricia Lancaster may have tried to depart quietly yesterday, but no one is keeping quiet about the resignation of the controversial head of the city's lightening rod agency. Here's some of the post-Patricia Lancaster resignation react:

1) "After a string of deadly accidents and disclosures of bureaucratic incompetence, Patricia Lancaster, New York City’s buildings commissioner, made the right decision on Tuesday to resign. The department now needs a major overhaul...It has too few inspectors, a culture of lax enforcement and a history of putting the needs of developers and contractors above public safety concerns. Construction goes forward even when sites have numerous citations (there were more than 30 code violations at the building where a worker fell to his death last week), and fines are set too low to enforce better practices." [NYT]

2) "The resignation yesterday of the city’s buildings commissioner, Patricia Lancaster, is polarizing the real estate development community and could signal a symbolic end to New York’s building boom." [Sun]

3) "It was clear that Lancaster's time had come, with the morning headlines carrying word that Hizzoner was displeased with her handling of the spate of fatal accidents: She'd already admitted that the site of last month's crane collapse that killed seven people shouldn't have gotten permits." [NYP]

4) "You knew Lancaster's days were numbered when Bloomie stopped supporting her at press conferences. Still, I'm amazed Mayor Mike admitted to any fault in his administration...Now, let's see if Mike has the courage to appoint someone who will actually clean up the department, look out for the citizenry and keep developers in line." [Lost City]

5) "Will the Department of Buildings do its job any more effectively or efficiently? Actually, it's highly unlikely without systemic reform. Ms. Lancaster had become a lightening rod for criticism...But the issues that have led to 13 worker deaths so far this year and the worst construction accident in New York history are deep, systematic ones that will not be solved by Ms. Lancaster's departure...If the FDNY was as dysfunctional as DOB and if the Mayor had turned a blind eye to it for nearly two full terms, most citizens would be screaming for his head on a platter." [Gowanus Lounge]

6) "We can only hope that this resignation engenders the same kind of sea change as the replacement of Iris Weinshall with Jeanette Sadik-Khan at DOT...Let's start, Mayor Bloomberg, with having a panel that includes interests besides developers and the building trades vet the next DOB commissioner." [Brooklyn Streets]