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Re: Strange but True (SB 828)

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-----Original Message-----
From: Robert McGhie <robert0(--nospam--at)>
To: seaoc(--nospam--at) <seaoc(--nospam--at)>
Date: Saturday, November 01, 1997 7:52 AM
Subject: Re: Strange but True (SB 828)

>At 09:56 PM 10/31/97 -0800, you wrote:
>>If you actually believe that our illustrious legislators who oversee the PE
>>laws here in CA have the public's best interest at heart by allowing
>>architects and civil engineers with very little practical experience to
>>stamp and sign structural drawings in seismic zone 4, then I should probably
>>request that you submit a urine sample :o)
>>Bill Allen
>See my post in response to your previous post where I agree with you, our
>illustrious legislators don't. Actually urine test are very inaccurate. :-)
>In my experience, architects are much less of a problem than civils. The
>architects generally seemed to recognize that they lacked the ability to do
>the structural design and hired SEs for that work. 
If this is true, then it shouldn't be a problem eliminating that one line paragraph in the B&P code.
> The problem is not
>necessarily with those with limited experience but those who fail to
>recognize their limitations and fail to seek help or assistance. The
>question is how to address this problem, which is not limited to zone 4.
>Limiting structural design in zone 3 & 4 to SEs would eliminate the
>incompetent and unprofessional but, in my opinion, paints with too broad of
>a brush. It would unjustly eliminate many competent and ethical CEs who do
>not take on work beyond their abilities, without assistance and help from
>more knowledgeable and experienced engineers. Haven't we all been faced with
>situations where we had to solicit assistance and advice from our
>colleagues? Isn't that one of the purposes of this list? Why then, should
>CEs be treated any different? Even though it would improve the quality of
>structural design and thus be in the public's interest, how could such a
>proposal be advocated without it appearing as nothing more than a power
>grab? We should not forget that SEs in California are also CEs and had to
>practice structural engineering as CEs before taking the SE exam. 
Thereby gaining at least three more years of practical experience.
> The real
>problem is how to test for future unethical or unprofessional behavior. I
>for one do not have the answer to this question.
>It may be easier to attack the problem from another direction. Instead to
>trying to limit the ability to sign plans, specifications and calculations
>for the structural design to SEs, a better solution may be to require that
>the review and approval of the structural portion of plans and
>specifications, by cities and counties, be under the responsible charge of a
This solution would solve two "problems" including peer review which I, as well as building officials, would welcome.
 The public could be protected without unnecessarily and unreasonably
>restricting competent CEs and architects. The problem would then be a
>technical one of insuring that the code did not permit inadequate designs.
>Would CELSOC support such a proposal? Some how I doubt it.