You mean I actually have to write a message? Why didn’t somebody tell me before I decided to accept this position? Anyway, here goes.
I want to thank Jeff Harden for his tireless
efforts on our behalf over the past several years. He has done more
for Association than we will ever know and Jeff I will be asking for
your help throughout the year. I would also like to thank the City
On with the thanks: to our outgoing secretary,
Dale Lisle, who has served for many years as an officer. Dale we
wish you a long and enjoyable retirement and thank you for your many
years of service. Thank you to Brita Van Horne for agreeing to serve
as 1st Vice President and your past years as the
treasurer. Thank you and
welcome to the new officers of 2nd Vice President David
Churchill, Secretary Cody Christensen and Treasurer Michael
Pardekooper. Membership has selected knowledgeable officers and I
look forward to serving with each of the new officers. I would also
like to thank all of the committee volunteers for their time and
hard work to promote building safety throughout the State of
I welcome your comments and suggestions for the coming year. Feel free to contact me 24/7 by email at email@example.com or my office phone number (319) 626-5736.
I wish everyone a happy and prosperous 2011.
We are fast approaching that time of year again when we typically reflect on what we have accomplished. I have been thinking about the past couple of years and what the Chapter has achieved. The members have reinstated the Scholarship fund, donated funds to the State Fire Marshall’s smoke detector program, publicly supported those who chose to adopt the 2009 I-codes in any fashion they deemed acceptable, providing free energy code education to the Chapter members, continuous support of the annual banquet, provided additional training through workshops at a reduced cost, made the Chapters presence known to the legislatures, readdressed the Chapters Endorsement Policy, and much, much more. The members have made everything possible through their dedication and hard work. I have the honor of being in the right place at the right time and I want to thank everyone for that. I would also like to thank all of the board members I’ve had the pleasure working with during my time on the Board. Our colleagues that serve on the Board are exceptional. They are dedicated to the members’ needs and work hard to achieve those goals. I would like to welcome the new Board and I believe the members will be pleased with their choice for those who will serve. As my service on the board fades away I still would like to offer my services to the Chapter and with everyone’s blessing continue a few things that were not able to be accomplished. Items such as the membership fee survey and drafting of IABO handouts/information. I would like to also offer my assistance with serving on any committees and anything else to support the Chapter and its members.
Last but not least I would like to personally thank Ron Hoover and Jeff Junker for their personal support they have provided in two of my toughest life challenges as well as being patient in listening to me carry on at times and just all in all both being a good friend.
Thank you all and have a great Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year!!!
Things I ponder about from time to time.
Well seems like the rains and water are upon us again. Are we stuck in a cycle? In my many years here on planet earth I don’t recall it being this way. The weather patterns seem goofy? Maybe its part of the lunar cycle that the planets are going through? Maybe it has always been this way? I just haven’t experienced enough life to know and probably never will. Areas will flood; some homes will be inundated with water just like before. Measures will be taken into account to counteract this but once again the same areas will flood. We believe we are far superior and can control everything. Not the case, history proves us wrong again and again and again and as always we will never learn. Something is sure to get mandated which means money out of our pockets. Usually this is due to someone else reaping some sort of benefit. I do believe that nature and man goes through cycles. Sometimes things are just because. Man does impact nature to an extent but I don’t believe man is so significant that we actually can change the entire global climate unless of course we activate are nuclear arsenal (that’s only my opinion and perspective). That I’m sure would have an effect. We pollute and cut down vast areas of timber and that has an effect but with the right measures taken we can reduce the extent of our impact. I’m not a tree hugger or other wacko I just believe in common sense and it seems to be becoming extinct. At least we are not on the coast, what a tragedy no matter whose to blame and now of course the hurricanes are coming, wow who could have predicted that (sarcasm)? If there’s one thing I have learned in life is that everything happens for a reason. We may not know it now or in 10 years but eventually we’ll see the reasoning. Nowadays you are labeled into one category or another based on your beliefs. This I’m sure is in part of the news media being sensationalized and most of us know that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, whether the issue is right or wrong. Then we also have the paralyzing disease I like to call the warm and fuzzies. In my experiences this typically indicates that nothing good will come about. This tends to put you in a spot where you may have to compromise your beliefs and values along with having to defend the actions of others (usually higher ups) and it’s a no win situation for everyone. The trick is to master the fine line between it all and it is usually helpful if everyone involved has an open mind, at least somewhat. The impression I have with those in our field of work is that we are typically the “black and white”, “right or wrong” type personality but with a big dash of gray to be able to creatively help people out with their situations/issues. We are all asked to do a thankless job that exposes us to upset and sometimes disgruntled citizens. This can be taxing at times. I wonder what makes people that way. I understand those that get upset but usually after conferring with them they tend to calm down but you always still have the few that test you and your will. (I should say the will of the people). The part of my job that I enjoy the most is turning around those that are upset and seeing them leave happy.
There is always the hope for change or maybe we need to change for hope J
Have a great and safe 4th of July and I look forward to seeing everyone.
Jeff HardenPS. Details are being worked on for upcoming seminars and don’t forget the ABM is coming up.
Has everyone else been busy lately? I know we have. I know others have been as well. Our numbers are up on the residential side and our commercial is picking up pretty good with what we have now and what is coming up. One of my inspectors commented today about how it is becoming a little difficult to ensure that they are doing their best out in the field. Like most others we have the joy of being involved in several other aspects of the community not just building. My comment was to do the best you can and if something had to wait then it had to wait. Basically don’t give up quality due to quantity. Easier said then done! This leads me to Building Safety Month (formally Building Safety Week). A time for reflection of our peers, goals and achievements as well as promoting the safety of buildings and our roles in the community. This is something that we celebrate/defend each and every day of the year. We constantly promote building safety whether or not we know it. From the inspector who wants to perform his duties to his best abilities to the group coming together to defend sprinkler provisions and helping the State Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board. Without a building there would be nothing else! Can you live in a plumbing system; some think you can (a poor joke)? What holds up the electrical wiring and how else would anyone complain about being in a tightly controlled environment (another poor joke)? Buildings are the key! Without them everything else fails. Building safety is vital as history shows us. We as a society tend to forget quickly as well and it is our role to remind people of this. Sometimes it can be difficult such as dealing with a difficult contractor or having to stop what you are doing to assist a citizen/customer. In the end though its worth helping resolve an issue, educating, starting relations, reinforcing what you believe in and learning something as well. This would be a perfect time to thank Stu Crine and Brian Bishop for their commitment in securing funds for energy training for all of us. This was a monumental task that would try anyone’s patience. This also would be a good time to welcome Debra Anderson. Debra is the Building Official for the City of Waterloo and has taken the position due to Louis’ retirement.
EVENTS and ISSUES
The season if finally changing and so seems everything else. There is a lot of activity happening on all fronts and so I want to take this time to share the information that I know with everyone else.
Proposed Sprinkler system bill – Most of you probably know this by now with the last email that was sent out but it appears that the proposal on the hill to require City and County Governments to vote separately on any provision of the code to require sprinkler systems per the IRC language did not pass the second funnel on March 5, 2010. There is one more hurdle to this and that is the Standings Bill. There is a possibility that this issue will come up again and be inserted into the last bill of the session. We are all aware of this famous last action. The final outcome will be known once the legislators leave town. It seems reminiscent of waiting for winter to end.
Flooding – It’s the talk of the State. This topic has been all over the news and I’m sure on the minds of those that are generally affected by the potential for flooding. Hopefully this is not the year of extremes. What can we do as an organization to help? To prepare? Does anyone foresee the need to begin the discussion as a group? Though it is difficult to know what your needs are prior to the event if for any reason you need assistance please get with those who have been through this sort of catastrophe. For those who have experience in these matters please share. This may be able to be accomplished through our website which segues to the next subject.
Website – Our website is being updated and tweaked and I’d like to thank Ron Hoover. He has committed his time to getting our website up to speed. Ron has added a neat little feature to our website www.iabo.net. When you get on the site you will see the words “Code Talk” highlighted in Red. If you click on this it will direct you to a site named IABO CODE TALK. Currently if you email a response to a post it will email Ron. He would then be able to post it as a new comment (if it was a topic other than the current posting). The question can also be sent as a mass email and ask those to respond via the blog. Hopefully there will come a time where we can all create a post but as with everything you have to start somewhere and I think Ron has done a great job creating this.
Scholarships – The scholarship subcommittee is ready to submit recommendations to the members for approval. If the members approve then we will be able to start advertising scholarships for this upcoming 2010/2011 year. The proposal is to provide Two - $500.00 scholarships. One award is for a four year program and one for a two year program. The applicants must prove their progress that is satisfactory in order to receive each additional year. All necessary documents to support this program have been prepared and are ready to implement. Basically everything is the same as when the Chapter provided scholarships in the past.
Seminars – Last months seminars were a success. Bob Hendricks and David Churchill had done a wonderful job in setting this up. It is no easy task and takes a lot of coordination and time. Day one 65 have attended, Day two 74 attended and Day three 46 had attended. 29 people attended the banquet. I heard nothing but positive responses for our instructor. Terrell is the recipient of the 2009 ICC Educator of the Year award. The Chapter is also working on securing funding to help provide, hopefully free of charge, Energy Code education to all Inspectors.
Award – IABO received a plaque from ICC honoring the Chapter for their 50 years of service. This was presented on the evening of the 24th of February. A plaque was also presented to Louis Cutwright for his 20 years of service to his community and to IABO. Jim Kenkel was presented a Certificate of Appreciation for his dedication and service to the members during his time as State Fire Marshall. Last but not least Greg Johnson was presented a Certificate of Appreciation for his dedication and service to the members while serving as Liaison to the Chapter. Greg was not able to attend the event so it is being sent to him.
Plumbing and Mechanical Board Study – Members of IABO as well as IAPMO will be meeting with the Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board and members of the State Electrical Examining Board to discuss the feasibility of State wide inspections. The discussion will also entail how this program may/will affect local jurisdictions. This study is required through an act passed by the legislature in 2009. Recommendations must be presented to the General Assembly January 1, 2011.
We are working on continuing to update the email list, getting more seminars and workshops to the members, and many, many other things. Also not to forget Building Safety Month is in May (no longer a week long event) and the Group A Final Action Hearings will be coming up May 14-23 in Dallas, Texas. I think the best thing from all this is that spring is finally getting here.
Pres Message January 2010
I would like to thank all the members for making the 2009 year a great one. If there was
one thing that I took from this past year is the appreciation of all the support and the
criticism. If not for both then I wouldn’t have been able to have grown as a person. I
disagreed with some and laughed with others but all in all if it weren’t for these
interactions on a one on one basis or as a group in whole I wouldn’t be where I’m at
today. I’ve had the opportunity over the holidays to reflect on my life, like most do at
some point. Of course doing so wasn’t too bad I’ve only had to look back 37 ½ years.
Anyway I realized I’ve been blessed in many areas of my life, probably more so than I
deserve. I had some challenges and I’m sure will continue to do so, though luckily not as severe as some. I have been humbled which for me couldn’t have come at a better time. I have always believed that things happen for a reason, at times it’s difficult to see why but it’s plain as day when I reach the end. Every issue, challenge and indifference I have faced was met with the right solution and the right action at the right time. Not just in my personal life but in my professional life as well. This is only my perspective as I’m sure there will be those that disagree with me on some of my actions taken on behalf of IABO. Those disagreements are welcomed and respected. For some reason I felt compelled to share this with everyone. Maybe someone is out there that needs this message to help them take stock in what they have? I guess my message for us is that we should take stock in what we have and what we have accomplished. We won’t win every battle, and maybe that’s our humbling moment? I think it’s more important how we handle our challenges and what we do moving forward. Oh and by the way I was way too optimistic in what code I thought the Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board would adopt as a State Plumbing Code.
Hopefully everyone had a great Holiday Season and I do Thank you all.
This past year has presented IABO with some challenges and it would appear that 2010
will be no different except in the fact that these upcoming issues may be even greater. I
think the actions and decisions of our past have brought us to this present point for if it
weren’t for those tests then clearly we would be unprepared for what’s coming our way.
As far as I know we may be faced with the following items.
1. Automatic Sprinkler Systems - A bill proposal “may” (probably will) be
submitted to the State House taking away the ability for local communities to be
able to adopt a building and/or housing code that would require the installation of
automatic sprinkler systems in one family or two family residential dwellings or a
residential building that contains no more than four dwelling units. This proposed
bill has a significant impact beyond just the International Residential Code. The
membership has taken the stance of supporting any community which sees fit to
adopt the I-Codes in the manner of their choosing. Now once again there is a
proposal to take away our local authority due to one segment of the industry. To
be fair I understand the reasoning of the HBA, though I especially disagree with
this aspect of the bill. I had the opportunity to speak with Flora Schmidt (HBA)
and their lobbyist. I voiced my concerns regarding their proposal and all in all I
thought the meeting went well. I believe we may have an opportunity to work
with the HBA to try and limit the amount of local control that could be lost? The
other option we have is to fight this proposed legislation 100%. I’m sure most
have seen the recent news coverage and newspaper article.
2. The authority and ability to adopt locally the International Mechanical Code
– It sounds as though there may be some comments being discussed regarding the
International Mechanical Code. The key topic with this issue is once again the
ability of the local jurisdiction to adopt a code that fits best in their community.
Local control again may be taken away in this area. My opinion is that we need to
fight this 100% to where any proposal doesn’t even see the light.
3. The administrative provisions of the State Plumbing Code – The State
Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board has moved to adopt the 2009 Uniform
Plumbing Code as the “State Plumbing Code”. Now the Administrative rules have
not been put together yet, at least publicly. There may be an opportunity to allow
local jurisdictions to adopt a code that is equivalent? Who knows? IABO might
even be able to participate and submit comments and suggestions that may be
implemented? There is one item I think they will amend and that’s Table 4-1 of
the 2009 UPC. Apparently the board agrees that the plumbing fixture count as
stated in this table is too restrictive and that they may adopt the plumbing fixture
table from the IPC or something very similar. Hmmm, that’s odd?
It looks like we have some more work ahead of us. My New Years wish is coming true.
It’s good to know that those not in our business seem to have a need to dictate it! In other words I feel we need to as an organization become more proactive and get our word out to help all parties understand what our role is exactly.
President’s Message November 2009
Volunteering and Reminding
As I was attending my second Annual Business Meeting two things became blatantly apparent to me. First was the amount of volunteerism that is taking place. This wasn’t just happening on the National Level but on the Local Level as well. Everywhere I turned there were stories about members dedicating their time and efforts to programs sponsored by the International Code Council Foundation, Project Hero, and the Habitat for Humanity. Of course worth mentioning is the number of members that serve on the various committees, event set ups and those on the Board of Directors. I had the opportunity to see members take up new positions and others step down. There always
seemed to be someone willing to take the torch and carry on. As I spoke to different members and listened to what their Chapters and groups were doing I was extremely impressed. Some were heavily involved with their representatives at the national level seeking support for the Building Code Grant Act. Some created disaster response teams to assist in areas struck by natural disasters. Others gave their time at local events such as during Building Safety Week and various other outlets throughout the year. These members are dedicated and hold true to the Code Councils motto:
“People Helping People Build a safer World”. So I’ve been asking myself what more can I do? Am I performing 100% up to the task for not only my community but for IABO? There’s plenty to be involved with. So I’ve decided to re-evaluate where I’m at. Get more involved and try to make a difference. Just think what we as an organization could accomplish if we took this step together. I would like to encourage everyone to take a step back, look at what they have accomplished and see what more they can do. I realize time is precious, work and home can wear on a person and we are all doing what we can to just keep sane. I know there are several that volunteer their time and
services when they can. I would like to say that I did have a few people come and tell me they were encouraged by our organization and that tells me we are making a difference as well, inspiring others. My intent is to share my thoughts and try to encourage others.
The second item I have that I believe is really worth mentioning is this: I was standing next to a colleague when he made the following statement, “You know it is nice to come out here and be among others in the same field and hear their stories and issues. I always feel as though I’m being worn down. It’s nice knowing that I’m not alone. I feel rejuvenated!”. I stood there and thought “wow” people really are making a difference, an impression. I know at one point in time everyone has experienced this. It felt good to hear this from another person and though I wasn’t too excited about the Code Development hearings, as I was with the Final Action Hearings in Minneapolis, I did feel rejuvenated. This also helped me with my decision and I want to thank him for reminding me as I hope to remind others.
I would like to end by saying Thank You to everyone for your support over the past year. I realize we all didn’t agree on everything but we did make some people take note, we made some decisions and we moved forward as a group. I look forward to continue serving IABO in any manner that you may allow and I encourage others to do the same.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas.
PS – Don’t forget membership renewals will be coming up as well as seminars.
President’s Message Sept 09
For some reason I’m having a little difficulty with this meetings message so I think this
would be a good time to delve into an opportunity for IABO. IABO through the
assistance of the State Building Code Bureau may be awarded a grant in the amount of
$20,000.00 from the Iowa Department of Economic Development. This money is
earmarked to provide seminars on the fundamentals of the energy code provisions. The
purpose of receiving the grant is to provide free education for up to 50 people along with
a free workbook. This opportunity is extended to all members and will be provided in
three locations: one in Eastern, Central and Western Iowa. Details on facility locations
have not been finalized but those we have been in contact with are willing to provide
space free of charge. The only potential costs to be incurred would be lunch; which we
are still working out those details as well. The grant funding must be expended within
two years. There are some other details to address such as re-imbursement and seminar dates. CEU’s will be provided to the attendees. By presenting this seminar in two-day increments the hope would be that jurisdictions could provide all of their staff this training opportunity without hampering their business operations. I’ll be asking for a vote from the membership to allow the board the ability to submit the grant application and enter into contract with the Iowa Department of Economic Development.
In the meantime we are still dealing with the same issues such as residential sprinklers,
statewide plumbing and mechanical licensing, and a State Plumbing Code. Just to provide a brief update on the actions of the Plumbing and Mechanical Licensing Board a few things are transpiring
1. A notice of intended action is to be filed for two new chapters, IAC 641- 30
(Continuing Education for Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Professionals) and
31 (Waivers and Variances from Administrative Rules)
2. Chapter 30 is intended to be filed under the Emergency rule provisions.
3. The Code Development Subcommittee has requested a presentation from IAPMO
and ICC to present their respective plumbing codes. It is my understanding that
this subcommittee will be asking input from other local groups, including ours, in
the State to assist in providing information.
You can follow the actions of the board by visiting the website at
http://www.idph.state.ia.us/eh/plumbing.asp. You are also able to look up online those
who have received a license from the State of Iowa via
Some jurisdictions are still dealing with flood-damaged properties and probably still will
be for some time. There are a few things to look forward to here in the near future. The
ABM and Code hearings are just around the corner, if anyone enjoys history and plans on going to Baltimore it should be an interesting city as its one of the cornerstones of our nation, not to detract from the actual business at hand which is no less important. Seminar season is coming up and with the 09 codes out on the street they should be interesting, a lot of changes in the codes to look at and digest. I hope everyone has a safe Labor Day and I look forward to seeing everyone there.
July 2009 President’s message.
As most may know I try to be optimistic about everything. I find if I don’t I’d end up in a Group I-2 occupancy. At least it would be sprinkled so I’d be protected. All kidding aside there are plenty of benefits to remaining positive. I can see where those in our profession (and I’m sure many others) can grow a hard shell. It can become difficult to remain focused on the job while trying to provide the best service possible. Though actual construction permits are down in my jurisdiction I find that we are still extremely busy. New duties assigned and an ever-growing challenge to nuisances. Each year it seems that the issues as well as “attitudes” become more extreme. Most colleagues I’ve spoken to are experiencing the same. Is it the amount of rain we’ve received? Are most people focusing on “others” issues to take away from their own? Has societies mentality shifted over to an expectation that government will handle every little detail for them? What about our side of the fence? Do more with less. Smile and remain professional when dealing with what seems to be an ever-growing amount of disgruntled citizens. As tough as it can be I cant count how many times having a positive attitude and sense of humor has defused a situation or has at least made it tolerable enough for the concerned party to relax and listen to the Cities reasoning. There are many challenges that we will have to face not only in each of our jurisdictions but as an organization as well. Of course as will be the case for a while we’ll have to contend with the sprinkler issue unless someone submits a bill to the house this upcoming legislative session that takes local control away. The one that will be pressing soon is the State Plumbing Code. The Plumbing and Mechanical Licensing Board has set up a sub-committee at their May meeting to look into adoption of an updated code. Now my gut tells me they will be looking towards the UPC but I’m going to remain optimistic about this. If those in the organization can express their support of the IPC then maybe there will be a chance that the Local jurisdictions can adopt what they feel is in the best interest in the community. Plumbing is plumbing; each code has the same basic engineering principles that allow the plumbing system to function properly. There are a few differences and everyone has their own opinions and experiences. Even if we all adopted one code or the other there will still be amendments to the code that will subject installers to standards that differ between jurisdictions. With that being said I’m optimistic that we can prove to the Board that our only interest is the safety of our citizens. How many deaths occurred in the past as a result to faulty plumbing installed per either code? I’d guess none. With your help we can I’m betting get the board to recognize our wishes and accommodate. Maybe I’m being too optimistic? Stay positive and enjoy the summer season before you know it we will get the pleasure of experiencing those wonderful Iowa winters again.