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I am currently active in SEAOC efforts but no longer in their leadership. 
The opinions expressed herein are mine and have not been passed by the
current SEAOC leadership.  But I have been around enough to have seen a few
things and obviously I see some of these things from a different point of
view than some of those reading this post.

So here is my effort at responding to comments on my earlier post:

Web Site Information

Not all SEAOC members, and certainly not myself, are proficient in the use
of electronic systems, but the SEAOC and member organization boards
recognizes the need to put more information on the web.


The public is one of the beneficiaries of SEAOC's efforts but the many
technical and practice related issues that come out of SEAOC committees
also benefit the engineers.  The individual practicing engineer depends on
the research and discussion that leads to published information.  Just in
the areas of seismic design there have been countless advancements that
engineers use in design on a regular basis.  The principals and techniques
in these publications and the commentary on how they were derived are
available for the benefit and use of the engineer.  Guidelines have been
and are continuing to be written by SEAOC and its committees.  These
documents are not for public use but are used by engineers.

State Staff Support

Someone acting as a state secretary/executive secretary has always
supported SEAOC and its committee structure.  Sixty years ago it might have
been one of the founder's office staff in the north or the south.  I have
been a member for over 25 years and do not remember a time when there was
not a state staff person at least part time.  As early as 1984 SEAOC
recognized the need to increase the state staff to a full time person.  Odd
as it may seem the roadblock at that time was money.

The state office continued as an issue for discussion until early in 1993
when the SEAOC board agreed the only way SEAOC could participate and
successfully interact with the state legislature, other state organizations
trying to erode the structural engineering practice, BORPELS and with the
growing national activities was with a full time staff.  There are a
tremendous amount of issues going on almost on a daily basis that have
direct cause and effects on how we and/or our peers practice structural
engineering.  The need to track and disseminate for action or response to
the proper committees or SEAOC representatives is beyond the capacity of
part time staff, volunteers or one of the member organizations.

The Future

Whether you call it the 21st century, the next millennia or two years from
now things will be different.  The new national code is bringing
engineering means and methods from other parts of the country to the code,
and there are differences between how engineering and construction are
practiced in these areas.  The national registration of structural
engineers should have a minimal effect on current practicing engineers but
it should be a benefit to future generations.  Issues regarding continuing
education will have a direct effect on current practicing engineers. 
Efforts to improve the focus in undergraduate structural engineering
programs should benefit those firms hiring these new graduates.

The small majority (sounds like an oxymoron) who participate do so on
behalf of the entire body.  I cannot remember any leader of SEAOC
activities who has not asked the membership at large for input.  The SEAOC
leaders who can and have participated do not do so for their own benefit
but more for the benefit of the profession and SEAOC members.  If you don't
believe that, then elect new leaders.

The dues increase is not tied to only one activity (i.e. interacting with
the IBC).  Part of the dues SEAOC members have always paid has gone to
support state activities.  But as noted previously, the costs to
participate on a national level will exceed what had been incurred by local

NCSEA Code Advisory Committees

We will try to get information regarding the NCSEA Code Advisory Committees
on SEAOC website.  Please remember this activity is in its creation stage. 
The beneficiary question continues to puzzle me.  While the intent of code
is to protect the public, the information embodied in the codes is normally
considered the standard of care.  All though at times this standard of care
may seem minimal when compared to the standard of practice of some it does
provide a universal place to start.  Where do most engineers look for the
minimum standards or design requirements-codes.  Who does this benefit ?the


One result of changes that have come about through SEAOC efforts is the
examination application changes.  The old application allowed more
non-qualified applicants to sit for the SE exam.  In the early 90's CELSOC
supported a bill, in the state senate, the text of which would not allow
any public agency to limit the practice of civil engineering (i.e. not
being able to require certain levels of experience for a project).  SEAOC
representatives spoke, at senate hearings, against the bill and helped in
getting it defeated.  It is not always the changes that are made that
should be noted but sometimes the changes that are prevented.

The enforcement issue has also been discussed by SEAOC for some time.  Do
we have civil engineers practicing beyond their area of competency?  Do we
have structural engineers doing the same thing?  BORPELS for years has said
they do not get a lot of complaints in these areas.  Engineers have said
BORPELS doesn't do anything with their complaints.  Is there a benefit to
our profession derived from some form of punishment for those who violate
the registration laws?  Do SEAOC members want to do something about it?  If
there are a preponderance of civil engineers practicing beyond their area
of competence, this would provide support for the two tier SE license
proposals now being reviewed by SEAOC and national committees.

National Involvement

Organizations like NCSEA and SEI are currently contributing to the national
picture regarding structural engineering both in technical and
non-technical areas.  The national picture has a large impact on California
structural engineers.  These areas of impact include codes, standards,
registration, education, image, information dissemination, etc.  SEAOC
needs a presence to have its voice heard.  SEAOC members are members of
NCSEA and they don't have to join SEI to enjoy benefits derived from these
joint efforts 


The reason for pointing out the respect issue was an effort to show there
are those who appreciate the benefits of SEAOC efforts.  The enhancement of
that respect comes only with the continued benefits from the effort. 
Sounds more like an invitation to continue the good work not to join a
country club.