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RE: Strange but True (SB 828)

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-----Original Message-----
From:	Nigel Mends, PE [SMTP:nmends(--nospam--at)]
Sent:	Monday, November 03, 1997 3:55 PM
To:	seaoc(--nospam--at)
Subject:	Re: Strange but True (SB 828)

Neil Moore wrote:

> Nigel:
> I appreciate and respect your comments, but I suggest that you 
read my
> Sunday post re: Standing Fiirm, which focuses on Brad Boehm, 
P.E.  He is
> the City of Sacramento's building official who is apparently 
trying to
> enforce the MINIMUM U.B.C. standards.  I know something about 
this as well
> as his history here in El Dorado County where he also went up 
against the
> good old boy establishment.

Perhaps his position would be a lot more tenable if more 
engineers were involved
in what's going on at all levels?  This guy's out there all by 
hisse'f, so of
course he looks like a bug looking for a windshield on the 
highway of life.

> For your information, I'm on the county's building department 
appeal board
> which is either a reward or a penalty for supporting Brad 
Boehm's possibly
> quixotical efforts in the past.  I'm also on a committee of 
architects and
> structural engineers for the City of Sacramento and am a past 
chairman of
> the Computer Computation Committee of SEONC.  I'm not as 
active as I used
> to be because like many of the rest of the list, I pretty much 
run a one
> man show, even though I am now employed by a larger firm.

Coo-oo-ool! :-)  Now let's get the rest of the folks on this 
list equally
involved! :-D


We have a very similar situation here in the Coachella Valley. A 
local engineer (who I have great respect for) became the acting 
building official for Rancho Mirage. He as taken great efforts 
to create a minimum standard requirement for submittals and has 
had nothing but criticism from the building community. He is 
accused of being too rigid and unyielding.
I might agree with the general public comments had I not had the 
opportunity to work for him as a plan checker (he started by   
having the contracts with three cities out here to due contract 
plan checking).
I support his efforts one hundred percent. He is known as a no 
nonsense engineer with no sense of humor. However, he never 
expects more from a submittal than he provides on his own 
packages. I found this out when I back checked a couple of 
projects that he did.
Many of you may recall the thread that I posted regarding my 
fight with a local contractor after structural observation 
became a requirement. Much of this type of argument is falling 
by the wayside as there is little left to argue when more 
information appears on the plans. Stricter plan check submittals 
and expectations has equated to fewer questions in the field and 
less arguing and threats of law suits due to this plan checkers 
greater expectations.
I might remind you that he is not asking for anything in excess 
of minimum standards, however he does expect the plans to 
reflect all of the information and not expect anything left to  
 the discretion of the contractor in the field.
I commend Mr. Boehm on his strong stand. As long as there is not 
animosity in the performance of his job and he treats everyone 
with the same expectations, his actions are justified.
The article mentions the loss of a 25 million dollar project due 
to his requirements. If every building official did his job as 
diligently, the project would not find a home in any other city. 
I am surprised about one thing. I am surprised that the city 
council has not either, put heavy pressure on this official or 
refused to renew his contract. This has happened in my area and 
is the reason for some very poor quality of construction.
Dennis S. Wish PE