|Riding for the Brand|
|Muscatine, Iowa, City Staff Earn Certifications|
|South Florida Building Officials Association Honors Sunny Isles Beach Code Officials|
|Los Angeles Talks Merging Planning and Building Safety Departments|
|Aspen, Colo., to Discuss Three New Jobs to Handle Growth|
|Bridgeport, Conn., Church Hosts Certificate of Occupancy Barbecue|
|Riding for the Brand
by Jim H. Brown, CBO, CFPS, Deputy Building Official, Gillette, Wyoming, and International Code Council Board Member
There are some things you take to heart, and more importantly, take to heart and act on. The Cowboy Code of Ethics says "Ride for the Brand."
I'm more than prepared to discuss a new $35 million skilled nursing facility with the state health department and the design team. I then think back to last week's Board meeting where I was not directly challenged but had a discussion that personally hit home. Monday morning mail comes in and there is a copy of a letter from Wyoming Governor Matt Mead. Excellent, I have been waiting for this. I open it and it was not what I was expecting and I wondered how in the heck did I get on this distribution list? The letter was about building energy codes. The wheels start turning and I picked up the phone and before I knew it I had a meeting with the Governor's policy advisor on energy as Governor Mead was not available. 300 miles to Cheyenne, I can make that by 4 p.m. Tuesday. The wheels start turning more and faster which for those of you who know me well can be a frightening experience!
Here's where a matter of the heart turns into action. I start calling code officials along the travel route to arrange meetings with them and their Mayors, Administrators, and other decision makers knowing that all of this is last minute and the chances are slim to make it happen. The topics for discussion will be to thank all decision makers for allowing their employees to participate in the ICC Wyoming Chapter and the ICC, and encourage new code officials to hook on. Also want to talk about the important role we play in safeguarding our citizens, and the value that participation brings back to every jurisdiction regardless of size or population, just to name a few. We always talk about raising the profile of the Code Official and I found myself asking what have I really done about it? Well tighten up your back chinch partner 'cause here we go!
Wednesday morning: I took a chance and stopped by capital building at 7:30. Will wonders never cease, Governor Mead is free for a short visit and a picture. You just gotta love Wyoming! I had a great visit with him and if you ever have the pleasure of meeting him you will know in the first minute that this guy is the real deal. In our short time together we talked the energy code, the Wyoming Chapter and other issues. What struck me the most was as we parted we shook hands and he said, "keep up the good and important work." It was genuine and valued.
Off to the next meeting with Bruce Wilson (again) to meet with Cheyenne Mayor Richard Kaysen scheduled for 9 a.m. You may recall that Mayor Kaysen was honored by the ICC as the 2012 Elected Official of the Year. It sure didn't take me long to realize why. The Mayor beat me to the punch and expressed how important it is for his staff to be involved at the state and national levels with the ICC and fully recognized the value it brings to their citizens. He also went to the end of the room and to my surprise and pleasure reached to a place of honor in the center of a shelf and pulled down the ICC award for me to see. Mayor Kaysen is very proud and honored to have been given this award. Bottom line, this gentleman gets it. Please notice in the picture background the poster for Cheyenne Frontier Days—the greatest week of rodeo in the world. This is important as my visit coincided with the opening day and Mayor Kaysen still took the time to visit.
Off to the 10 a.m. meeting on the new skilled nursing facility. I'm sure that many of you can guess how that went. "Intellectual" code geeks in action??? Meeting over at 12:30 p.m. with 130 miles to drive to get to Douglas for a 2:30 meeting.
On to the Town of Wright to visit with my good friend and Building Official Lyle Murdock. Seventy-six miles and meeting at 4:30, I can make that easy. Driving out of Douglas with the Medicine Bow in the rear view mirror and the Thunder Basin National Grasslands in front of me, Willie Nelson on the radio, burger in hand and the hammer down... Life is good!
My visit with Lyle was laced with discussions about the events of the day, the upcoming ICC Annual Business Meeting, the future of the Wyoming Conference of Building Officials, succession planning, and raising the profile of Code Officials with our state representatives.
I'm finally on my way home with only another 60 miles to the ranch. It's now route 59 North, George Strait on the radio and hammer down on the power stroke diesel again with my last visit behind me. Reflecting on the events of the past day and a half as I pass by the seemingly endless fence posts, mule deer and antelope, I hope that I made some small difference along the way.
Here are Carter's views on participation with the ICC and the Wyoming Chapter and other organization outside of the City of Gillette. "There is great value and benefit for our employees to participate at the state, national and international levels; the City of Gillette supports and encourages this. Through their volunteer work outside of our routine spheres of influence, our employees bring back a much broader view of the world, enhanced leadership skills, and networking contacts that keeps Gillette on the cutting edge of information and technology. The bottom line is: we invest in our employees in efforts like this and the returns are well worth it."
So to wrap this article up here are some of some of the things I reaffirmed and learned: Ride for the Brand, Take Pride in Your Work and Act on the Heart. The message that you bring is welcome and needs to be spread, and most importantly you do not need to be an ICC Board member to do this. I would challenge you the next time you travel to take the time to visit with other code officials and their decision makers about the good work that we all do to safeguard our families, friends and neighbors. I think that you will be surprised what you can accomplish. Happy Trails!
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One hundred percent of the city of Muscatine's Building Department staff have earned professional certifications from the International Code Council. Staffers who earned professional certifications include Stephanie Oien, Steve Lemke and Michael Stensland. The three hold combined certifications in the categories of Permit technician, Residential electrical inspector, Commercial electrical inspector, Building inspector, Plumbing inspector, Mechanical inspector, Building plans inspector, Fire Code Inspector II, Accessibility inspector/plans inspector, and Certified building official. The certifications ensure that Muscatine city staff have demonstrated competency in the requirements of the International Codes.
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|South Florida Building Officials Association Honors Sunny Isles Beach Code Officials
The South Florida Building Officials Association, a chapter of the Building Officials Associations of Florida, recognized three code officials from the different municipalities within the Miami Dade County area whose work and dedication exemplifies their willigness and commitment to the public's life-safety and welfare. This year's recipients were Building Official Clayton L. Parker (center), Chief Building Inspector James Hill (left), and Chief Plumbing Inspector John Cronin (right) — all from the city of Sunny Isles Beach Building Department.
Parker, an exemplary professional who has served the City of Sunny Isles Beach since the year 2000, was awarded the 2013 Building Official of the Year Award for his leadership, commitment and loyalty to the city, which has earned him not only the respect of his peers, but also the respect of developers, contractors and his employees.
Hill, who joined the Sunny Isles Beach Building Department in 2004, was awarded the 2013 Plans Examiner of the Year Award. His knowledge of the different building codes and regulations as well as his dedication to his job make him an invaluable addition to the building department's team.
Cronin, who has served the city of Sunny Isles Beach since the building department's inception in 1998, was awarded the 2013 Inspector of the Year Award. His expertise in the plumbing trade is an asset not only to the department but to the city as a whole.
Read more from the Miami Community Newspapers
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|Los Angeles Talks Merging Planning and Building Safety Departments
The city of Los Angeles is contemplating the possible merger of the Department of City Planning (DCP) and the Department of Building and Safety (DBS). If completed, the merger would create a Department of City Planning and Development, also folding in key development roles now under the Department of Public Works’ bureaus of Engineering and Contract Administration, and under the Fire Department and the Department of Transportation, according to a joint recommendation released by DCP and DBS. By consolidating these agencies, officials hope to cut the red tape of the permitting process. Consolidating development services under one department is not a new idea. Cities such as Atlanta, Austin and Portland have a similar setup, as do Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Long Beach. City officials said that the merger would not result in any layoffs.
"We think it's a great opportunity for the city to move forward on economic development and really create a process that our customers deserve, so that we can have a streamlined process, reduced redundancies, and focus city agencies around livability, creating a sustainable future for Los Angeles," said Michael LoGrande, director of city planning.
Read more from the Architect's Newspaper
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|Aspen, Colo., to Discuss Three New Jobs to Handle Growth
Two city of Aspen departments are looking to create three jobs in order to better handle the community's growing development activity. The value of construction projects in Aspen, as represented through permits issued by the Building Department, has grown from $24.8 million in the first six months of 2010 to $88.9 million in the same period this year. The building division of Community Development wants to bring on an administrative assistant and a plans examiner at a combined cost of $149,000 per year. The Engineering Department needs a development engineer at an estimated cost of $113,000. The total amount of the request adds up to $262,000.
According to a city staff memorandum, numerous large projects are in the pipeline that require review and inspection services and the managers of the two departments, faced with so many projects in the works, do not want to repeat the delayed response to increasing demands of (2005 to 2008). Back then, management did not add staff until review times were immeasurable, relationships with the building community were broken, and staff morale was extremely low.
Read more from the Aspen Times
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Rev. Kenneth Moales Jr. claims the church has spent $900,000 over the last three years on necessary improvements at the massive new sanctuary, but has been waiting for a city inspector for a year and a half. He said he had been told there was a backlog of inspections. "Realistically, if I had that much power and was using the mayor, I could have gotten someone here (before) two years," he said.
Read more from the CTPost.com
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