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Summary of April 15th Meeting

posted Apr 29, 2011, 8:14 AM by Robert DuPont   [ updated Apr 29, 2011, 9:34 AM ]
Alliance for Regulatory Coordination
Summary of Member Meeting
Meeting Date: April 15, 2011
Location: Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
The meeting was convened at 9:30 a.m. by Bob DuPont, of Regulatory Guidance and Design, LLC. Attendees introduced themselves and identified the organization they were representing.
Mr. DuPont reviewed the agenda and gave a brief update regarding activities that could affect ARC members. He reported that the Safety and Buildings Division, as of May 1, 2011, will again be utilizing private inspection services to conduct plan reviews, issue permits and perform inspections of new one- and two-family dwellings in those communities not providing such services themselves. This involves approximately 170 communities in the state. Bob also reported that the University of Wisconsin, Department of Engineering Professional Development plans to have their web site on line by May 15th to enable ARC members to register for UW-EPD courses with a $100 per person discount.
Attendees reviewed and discussed the draft ARC white paper entitled “How to Advance Safety Services in Wisconsin through Improved Resource Management”, which was developed by DuPont as a result of the March 18th meeting of ARC members. The draft contains three recommendations:
1. Discontinue the practice of lapsing funds from the safety and building operations appropriation. Create a trust account for safety and buildings operations.
2. Reorganize the Safety and Buildings Division into units that are focused on customer groups and program areas.
3. Deploy human resources of the Safety and Buildings Division by consistently using recognized economics-based methods.
Regarding the first recommendation DuPont reported that the lapses proposed in the Budget Bill from the Department of Safety and Professional Services, DSPS, in each of the next two biennia are meant to reflect the amount of savings to the DSPS over that time period due to higher employee payments for health care and retirement. As in the Budget Repair Bill, such savings would not accrue to the program revenue appropriations within the various agencies, but would instead be lapsed to the general fund to help with the deficit there.
Regarding the second recommendation Mr. DuPont reminded everyone that the Budget Bill proposes to change the two bureau director positions in the Safety and Buildings Division, along with three bureau director positions in the Environmental and Regulatory Services Division, from classified positions, into unclassified positions. Such a change would result in those five bureau director positions being appointed positions rather than civil service positions. Bob reported that the Department of Regulation and Licensing, DRL, has historically had five bureau director positions which are unclassified; apparently with at least one additional bureau director position which is a civil servant. He reported hearing that the classification of bureau directors in the DSPS seems to still be unsettled.
DuPont reported that the unfilled appointed position in charge of the Division of Administrative Services in Commerce is slated to be transferred to the DSPS even though the DRL already has a Division of Administrative Services with a leader appointed. He suggested that such a vacant appointed position could be used for a Deputy Division Administrator in the Safety and Buildings Division, a component of ARC Recommendation Number Two in the draft white paper.
In preparation for dialogue about the third recommendation Mr. DuPont referred to a small spreadsheet he had prepared and sent to ARC members before the meeting. That spreadsheet illustrates how field staff in the Safety and Buildings Division could be deployed based simply on the number of local inspectors in each program area. Bob said the method for staff deployment could include other considerations, such as population density, or the geographic distribution of local inspectors. He said that one could expect state field staff to spend more time driving between local inspectors in Northwest Wisconsin as compared to the Southeast area of the state.
Discussion about staffing within the Safety and Buildings Division identified several additional inputs needed for success, including: 1.) input from industry experts regarding their experiences and expectations; 2.) data on workload and its geographic distribution; 3.) the type of work assigned, be it providing consultation and oversight to local inspectors or conducting day to day inspections.
Next steps relative to the draft white paper were discussed. Bob DuPont will rewrite the second sentence of the second paragraph under recommendation three of the white paper. He will write a more general statement as to what aspects should be considered for best staff deployment, reflecting the dialogue of this meeting.
Also, DuPont will contact Tom Nardelli to propose a meeting between representatives of the Alliance and both Tom Nardelli and John Scocos, Deputy Secretary of the DRL. The purpose of the meeting would be to discuss the draft white paper. Bob will inform all Alliance members of any meeting arrangements so that a contingent of ARC representatives can be formed to participate in the meeting.
Jim Boullion volunteered to lead efforts to communicate with members of the Joint Finance Committee pertaining to concerns about the lapse provisions contained in the Budget Bill. He will coordinate his efforts with other ARC members interested in that issue. DuPont asked that anyone interested in the issue of stopping lapses from the Safety and Buildings Division contact Jim Boullion as soon as possible.
DuPont asked if there was interest among ARC members to help commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Wisconsin Industrial Commission, the predecessor of the Safety and Buildings Division. Initial thoughts are to work with DSPS on an event in July 2011 where the Alliance would present an engraved plaque from ARC to Tom Nardelli, S&B Division Administrator. DuPont would also work with the Governor’s Office to get a proclamation issued and framed for presentation at the same event. There was general agreement that such a commemoration was appropriate for ARC to participate in.
Discussion of the draft list of ARC Interests regarding operations of the Safety and Buildings Division was put off until the next member meeting. Also to be covered during the next meeting will be contacts made with the Safety and Buildings Division, the DRL and the Joint Finance Committee.
The next meeting of Alliance Membership was scheduled for May 20, 2011, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., at the headquarters of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin, 5330 Wall St., Madison, WI.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:35 a.m.

Meeting Attendees

Organization Represented

Amy Bliss

Wisconsin Housing Alliance

Betsy Ahner

Wisconsin Propane Gas Association

Bill Babcock

American Institute of Architects – Wisconsin Society

Bob Kleinheinz

Wisconsin Fire Protection Coalition

Bob Neale

International Code Council

Brad Boycks

Wisconsin Builders Association

Brad Liggett

Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs Association

Chris Schoenbeck

Wisconsin Fire Protection Coalition

Dan Gengler

Wisconsin Alliance for Fire Safety

Dave Bloom

Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs Association

George Ermert

Wisconsin Fire Protection Coalition

James Martins

Wisconsin Fire Chiefs Education Association

Jeff Bateman

Wisconsin Fire Protection Coalition

Jim Boullion

Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin

Kevin Bierce

Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs Association

Richard Paur

League of Wisconsin Municipalities

Russ Sanders

National Fire Protection Association

Scott Satula

Wisconsin Code Officials Alliance

Steve Breitlow

Plumbers Local 75

Steve Froemming

International Association of Electrical Inspectors, Wisconsin Chapter

Tom Clark

Wisconsin State Fire Inspectors Association

Tom Johnson

Wisconsin Code Officials Alliance

Bob DuPont

Regulatory Guidance and Design, LLC

This summary was prepared by Bob DuPont, Regulatory Guidance and Design, LLC.
It was issued on April 29, 2011.