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Ron Gallagher's Comments in SEAOC Plan Review

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I draw your attention to the latest Plan Review from SEAOC. On page 5, Ron 
Gallagher's (current chair of the state Seismology Committee and Project 
Manager for the Seismic Design Manual) comments about the importance of the 
Seismology Committee Chairman compared to the presidency of SEAOC is rather 

"It is my personal observation that the Chair of the SEAOC Seismology 
Committee plays as important a role for the Association as the President. A 
lot of People don't realize this, even Board Member. Board Members come up 
the ranks from the local associations, and many have not served on, or been 
involved with, the Seismology Committee. Consequently, I feel the Board as a 
group does not fully comprehend the amount of work the Committee does. It is 
truly the heart of the Association."

Not only does the board not comprehend it, most of us haven't a clue how this 
got adopted. 

I believe Gallagher's statement could not have been said better had McCarthy 
said it himself in the 50's:>) As a practicing engineer who has to comply 
with and is liable for compliance with the UBC Chapter 16 provisions from the 
94 and 97 code, I am appalled that Gallagher is so out of touch with 
residential construction problems associated with construction omissions and 
defects that he believes we need to penalize the bill-paying public with 
stricter codes. What we need is less Seismology and more activism to bridge 
the gap that exists between architects, engineers, contractors and the 
building officials. If we focus our efforts in this direction instead of 
trying to redesign the flexible diaphragm as rigid we will reduce the cost of 
repairs after the next "Northridge" by making contractors responsible for 
their work and maybe even better educated. 

Gallagher's arrogance scares me as he believes that he is the most important 
person in our profession. Yes, he has the greatest impact and lately is 
causing the greatest amount of ulcers and grievances. He is also paving the 
way for attorneys to have cause to file frivolous lawsuits against engineers 
who (as standard practice) did not comply with the rigid diaphragm 
requirements that Seismology "enhanced" in the 94 Code.

With people like Gallagher, we should consider scrapping seismology and 
starting all over. I think he has become the attorney's greatest advocate. 
This is a great example of a few engineers need to be prominent leaders 
rather than representing the needs of their memberships by evaluating all of 
the information at hand instead of jumping the gun.

Anyone else irritated by his arrogance?

Dennis S. Wish PE