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Summary of July 29th Meeting

posted Sep 2, 2011, 8:12 AM by Robert DuPont

Alliance for Regulatory Coordination

Summary of Member Meeting

Meeting Date: July 29, 2011

Location: Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin

The meeting was convened at 9:35 a.m. by Bob DuPont, of Regulatory Guidance and Design, LLC. Attendees introduced themselves and identified the organization they were representing.

Mr. DuPont provided an update on the following five aspects of the Department of Safety and Professional Services.

  1. The Budget Bill contains a provision for lapsing $3.5 million from DSPS in each of the next two biennia. That provision is in addition to the traditional transfer of 10% of most revenue generated by the programs contained in the former Department of Regulation and Licensing.
  2. The S&B code project to adjust fees in Chapters Comm 2 and 5 had been put on hold.
  3. The credentialing staff and manufactured home titling staff of S&B have been moved to the building that has historically housed the Department of Regulation and Licensing.
  4. There is talk of a reorganization involving the Safety and Buildings and Environmental and Regulatory Services Divisions. Also, the Integrated Services Bureau Director position vacancy is planned to be filled with a political appointee, instead of a civil service candidate as in the past.
  5. Tom Nardelli, former S&B Division Administrator, recently resigned as DA of the Environmental and Regulatory Services Division, a position he was assigned to when Bill Wendle was hired as the new DA for the Safety and Buildings Division.

Discussion ensued on the Budget Bill provision to continue the lapsing of funds from DSPS for the next four years and on concerns that the DSPS leadership may not know what programs and services are of interest and concern to Safety and Buildings customers, such as ARC member organizations.

It was agreed that ARC member organizations should work hard this summer to gain access to the DSPS Secretary’s Office so they can individually discuss with DSPS leadership what is important to them. Meanwhile, Bob DuPont will work to meet with DSPS leadership to further brief them on the Alliance for Regulatory Coordination and to request that Secretary Ross attend the next meeting of ARC members.

Next, attendees confirmed the top five interests of ARC members relative to S&B operations as follows:
  1. Stop the lapsing of funds from the Safety and Buildings Appropriation.
  2. Improve the organizational structure of the Division.
  3. Improve deployment of resources among programs and services within the Division.
  4. Maintenance of services when merging into the Department of Safety and Professional Services.
  5. Future efforts of the Division to improve delivery of continuing education courses through more coordination with industry associations.

Members discussed two models for code enforcement involving third-party inspectors; the first, allowing contractors their choice of third-party inspector, and the second model, having third-party inspectors being under contract to a governing body with an assigned geographical area in which to operate. There was general consensus that for the issuance of permits and performance of general inspections, it would be best for any third-party inspectors to be under contract with a governing body. Likewise, there was general agreement that for special inspections, tests or quality assurance services, the third-party inspector or tester could be under contract to the building owner or building contractor, with their work product checked by the municipal or state inspection staff or a government-contracted third-party inspector.

Members next discussed what topics they might focus on when meeting with the leadership of the Department of Safety and Professional Services. Jeff Beiriger suggested that interest item number five, dealing with continuing education courses, be raised by every professional organization which provides continuing education to construction industry practitioners. He said that, in his view, the state has an unfair competitive advantage when it comes to promoting continuing education offerings because the state collects and uses license holder’s email addresses, but such addresses are not available for use by private organizations. According to Jeff, there are federal restrictions relative to email spamming practices, which apparently don’t apply to the State since it has a licensing relationship with the individuals on its email lists.

Concerns were also expressed by several members about continuing education offerings delivered over the internet and the lack of coordination between code change events and required continuing education. Jeff Beiriger suggested consideration be given to mandating attendance at continuing education about major code changes within one year of such changes. Jeff offered to initiate a meeting of those ARC members interested in the issues related to continuing education. He asked interested members to contact him.

Jeff Beiriger also suggested that “interagency coordination” be added to the larger list of ARC member interests. He described how topics related to plumbing installations are governed by at least three state agencies, primarily the Department of Safety and Professional Services, the Department of Health Services (lead and asbestos abatement) and the Department of Natural Resources (water quality and conservation). There was agreement to add this new interest area to the overall list.

Bob provided an update on the mailing of certificates of commendation to fire departments and municipalities, saying the mailing is expected to occur in late August or early September. He also suggested that the centennial commemorative plaque from ARC be presented during the centennial celebration event to be held on Friday September 30, 2011. There was agreement with these timelines.

The next meeting of Alliance Membership was scheduled for October 28, 2011, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., at the headquarters of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin, 5330 Wall St., Madison.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m.

Meeting Attendees

Organization Represented

Art Dahlberg

City of Milwaukee (Guest)

Bob Kleinheinz

Wisconsin Fire Protection Coalition

Bob Neale

International Code Council

Bob Premo

Wisconsin Code Officials Alliance

Brad Boycks

Wisconsin Builders Association

Brian Flannery

Wisconsin Code Officials Alliance

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

Jeff Bateman

Wisconsin Fire Protection Coalition

Jeff Beiriger

Plumbing, Heating, Cooling Contractors of Wisconsin

Jim Boullion

Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin

John Mielke

Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin

Kevin Bierce

Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs Association

Mark Hoppe

City of Pewaukee Fire Department (Guest)

Richard Paur

League of Wisconsin Municipalities

Ross Kinzler

Wisconsin Housing Alliance

Scott Satula

Wisconsin Code Officials Alliance

Steve Froemming

International Association of Electrical Inspectors, Wisconsin Chapter

Susan Phillips

Wisconsin State Fire Inspectors Association

Tim Elverman

Plumbers Local 75

Tom Johnson

Wisconsin Code Officials Alliance

Wayne Vandenbergh

Structural Engineers Association of Wisconsin

Bob DuPont

Regulatory Guidance and Design, LLC

This meeting summary was prepared by Bob DuPont, Regulatory Guidance and Design, LLC.

It was issued on September 2, 2011.