Why aren't you licensed?

GERRY CALFO CALFO & HAIGHT INC. WILMINGTON, DEL. I read with interest Michael Fitzpatrick Jr.'s response to Georgian Lussier's column ("Young plumber is unlicensed and proud of it," July, pg. 31). My question to you, Mr. Fitzpatrick, is why aren't you licensed? You seem to be qualified. There's no doubt that there are companies, both licensed and unlicensed, that do shoddy work. In my estimation,

GERRY CALFO
CALFO & HAIGHT INC.

WILMINGTON, DEL. — I read with interest Michael Fitzpatrick Jr.'s response to Georgian Lussier's column ("Young plumber is unlicensed and proud of it," July, pg. 31). My question to you, Mr. Fitzpatrick, is why aren't you licensed? You seem to be qualified.

There's no doubt that there are companies, both licensed and unlicensed, that do shoddy work. In my estimation, the need for licensing is to ensure that the people doing the plumbing and heating are qualified. They should pass a test, should have spent a specified period of time working in the trade and have proof of insurance to qualify for a license. In some areas of the country, one person in a business (usually the owner) holds a license. Technicians are not necessarily licensed. In that event, it's the responsibility of the owner to make sure that his or her employees know what they're doing and are familiar with local codes.

I understand and appreciate Mr. Fitzpatrick's frustration and anger, since he is apparently knowledgeable and well-trained — but many (maybe most) unlicensed contractors are not. This industry must have qualified people; it is simply too dangerous to have any Tom, Dick or Harry installing plumbing and heating, and I don't know any way other than licensing to accomplish that. Licensing helps ensure the safety of the public.