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RE: Strange but True (SB 828)

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>From: 	Charles Greenlaw[SMTP:cgreenlaw(--nospam--at)]
>Sent: 	Thursday, October 30, 1997 3:06 PM
>To: 	seaoc(--nospam--at)
>Subject: 	Re:Strange but True (SB 828)
I have forwarded Stan Caldwell's posting on to Sen. Greene's staffer
>Bill Gage, who handled this legislation, and to Curt Augustine at the
>Department of Consumer Affairs, who represented the Governor's administration
>during the process. 
>However, I prefaced it with my own remark, as follows: 
>"What better example in real life of the Mother Goose story of Chicken Little
>is there than this, where CELSOC squawks their irrational alarm and it is
>passed on as gospel, further exaggerated?" 
>Some background: I attended an all-afternoon negotiation session on the
offending matter on July 29 at the state capitol and heard the positions
of all the interested parties. Staffers from both legislative houses
>were there, as was Mr. Augustine, himself a former Executive Officer of our
PE and LS Board.  The CELSOC position and the Board of Registration
>position could not be distinguished from each other, and were exhaustively,
>but ineptly and unpersuasively presented. 
>The present Board E.O. (a M.E.) tried to give an example of how an unlicensed
>mechanical consultant would be able to do engineering legally on a waterworks
>project, for a surge tower on a penstock, and was promptly corrected by the
>former E.O.(a non-P.E.) that her example was civil engineering that the bill
>didn't affect. She couldn't think of any other example.  
In contrast, non-PE technical and scientific consultants to research and
development corporations and to manufacturing corporations were succinct
>and believable.
Curt Augustine explained that the Wilson administration regards
>extending the decades-old "industrial" corporation exemption to non-salaried
>employees and consultants as the most important feature of the entire,
>multi-board sunset program. 
Sen. Greene is a Civil Engineer who had a successful private practice in
structural design in Sacramento for some 35 years. He has been a member
of my section of SEAOC since 1949, and a legislator since 1963. And he
is a member of CELSOC and other societies who opposed his bill. There is
>no question as to his understanding the issues.
I have videotapes of 1 1/2 hours of legislative hearings on this part of
this bill. In one, after CELSOC's lobbyist made the same claims repeated
>in the e-mail posting earlier today, Sen Greene replied, "If horses had
feathers, I'd say 'horsefeathers'".  At another juncture, he said that
his engineer friends overstate the prospect of adverse outcomes, and
>that he didn't believe them.  He noted that nothing in existing law is known
>to have been abused, and that changes in employment practices means that the
>law must be amended to hold even.
>The governor signed the bill a month ago.
I see the CELSOC effort simply as an overextended turf grab that failed,
>and is lingering on in the form of a lot of petulant whining and
>self-justifying propaganda.
An enduring question might be, how well is professional engineering
>served when the most vigorous of its lobbying factions is so headstrong and
>lacking in credibility? If there's a threat to structurals, it will be from
>within the profession. Remember George Orwell's Animal Farm: pretty quick the
>pigs took over.
>Charles O. Greenlaw, S.E.  Sacramento CA


Apparently, everyone is not as knowledgeable as you are, or there
wouldn't be any reason for this Listserv.  However, some of us are not
able to spend our time attending hearings in Sacramento and,

consequently, might appear (to you) to be ignorant and irrational.  I do
not practice in California, and have never been a member of CELSOC.
Nevertheless, when their newsletter found it's way to my desk, the
article on SB 828 caught my attention.  This was my first exposure to
this issue.  The idea of deregulating any aspect of the engineering
profession alarms me.  By posting the article on the Listserv, I hoped
to gather more information.  I certainly didn't expect to receive your

Your post explains an environment that would allow SB 828 to be passed
and signed into law.  It is a shame that CELSOC did such a poor job of
lobbying on this issue.  However, nothing in your post even attempts to
explain why SB 828 represents good public policy.  What good can
>possibly come from "extending the decades-old industrial corporation
exemption to non-salaried employees and consultants"?  Intel is
currently constructing a new plant in Fort Worth, Texas.  Every sheet of
the construction documents was sealed by a Licensed Professional
Engineer in Texas.  However, it appears that their next plant in
California can now be undertaken without the involvement of any
Professional Engineers (except Civil).  Can anyone explain the logic in
this?  Until someone can, I will continue to be alarmed.

Chicken Little, P.E.
Dallas, Texas