He Doesn’t Play Favorites

“We believe it is better to encourage people to take the money and put it towards fixing the violation, as opposed to paying a summons,”
A dead battery in a Town Justice Court exit sign drew the attention of Tom Baker, a town fire marshal, on Friday. T.E. McMorrow

    Tom Baker, an East Hampton Town fire marshal, served a notice of violation on the East Hampton Town Justice Court Friday after finding a dead battery on an emergency exit light during his routine annual check of the building. The staff of the court should not feel singled out; Mr. Baker has written his own office up for a violation during an inspection. He said that he felt obligated, when he found the dead light in the office, to write it up.

    He walks from building to building, armed with a pole with a point at its end to reach smoke detectors and emergency lights on high ceilings.

    Neither the courthouse nor the town fire marshal’s office will be any poorer for receiving the summonses, Mr. Baker said as he made his rounds through the courthouse building, checking each and every emergency apparatus there.

    “We believe it is better to encourage people to take the money and put it towards fixing the violation, as opposed to paying a summons,” Mr. Baker said, as he headed out of the building toward Town Hall, where, he said yesterday, he found only one violation, an emergency light with only one of two bulbs working.