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My comments and the SEAOSC Elections

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I have probably said too much already, but I need to add one more comment. I
gain no satisfaction from being critical of a professional organization
which I have supported faithfully for almost twenty years. I believe,
optimistically, that there are appropriate solutions to problems but that
the cure is not without some discomfort and will require a great deal of ego
deflating.
Bill Allen and others were on the mark with their comments. Volunteering
does not relinquish responsibility or grant unquestionable authority. At the
very most, volunteers and elected members of SEA are repetitive not
"leaders". The direction of the organization is led by the members not by
the board. Volunteers are only granted the right to become involved in the
policy making process.
The fault of all of this lies here upon our (the members) shoulders for not
taking enough responsibility to assure that we are in control. We (the
members of SEA) have relinquished our authority and rationalize it as
helplessness to do anything about it.
I received a ballot from my local SEA chapter yesterday. There are no
choices, and no competition. There are two openings for the position of
Director and there are only two choices. There is only one position of
Directory of the Orange County SEA and only one choice. One position for
Treasurer and one choice. The only competition will be for the position of
PE director where two people are running.

Look at the resume's - impressive. PHD's, Masters, SE's, large companies,
years of experience, but not one representative of the small or independent
office. Not one mention of interest in technology or the future
technological advancements for our profession. Nor is there any desire on
anyone ones part to unify the structural community worldwide and open our
doors to sharing information and work.

Only one member running for office mentions representing the members -
George Battey III. How will he do this if he is not participating on this
List. Where is he obtaining his understanding of what the members want?

Martin Johnson (running for Director representing Orange County) is
"committed to promoting quality in design and business practices, and in
representing the concerns of practicing engineers."  Might I remind you that
Martin is the current chair of SEAOC Seismology committee. Who has he
represented so far?

Saiful Islam is "committed to the advancement of SEAOSC and the structural
engineering profession at the state and national level."  A common theme but
what does this really mean?

Richard Hess "strives to increase membership in the Association and
participation in our committees as a means of enhancing the quality and
influence of our profession." This is as close to a provable truth as each
applicant comes. Richard has a good history as committee chair and active
member of SEAOSC. I believe he is a good choice and will accomplish his
goals. However, I do believe that even Richard needs to participate with
this List so as to become closer to the members of the profession and
understand what the needs of the small and independent office are.

Y. Henry Haung has some very impressive credentials and is "committed to the
improvement of structural performance by improving codes and code
enforcement." Again, now can this be done without involvement with the many
concerns raised by the members of this list. In all honesty, I do not
remember postings or opinions on the list by Mr. Haung.

I might add that each of these members who is running as extremely
impressive credentials, but what good are credentials when running a
professional organization requires people skills and the ability to
communicate with the members and find out what the real problems are than
need to be corrected? How can you improve codes and enforcement if you have
already told the members that this is simply too difficult when SEAOC alone
does not have the power or lobby strength to overcome a vote on the floor of
ICBO if only to correct an error originating from your own work.

Some may feel it is inappropriate for me to criticize those members running
for office. My opinion is that they are asking for my vote (albeit I don't
have a choice other than Director PE), have gone public in the effort to
gain votes and are therefore open to public scrutiny.

There surely must be others out there who are on this List who can run for
these offices. There are others on this list who are strongly opposed to my
comments - even these people would be better choices since they are involved
in the discussions. It isn't a matter of agreeing or disagreeing with my
position or any others. I would support any member, regardless of opinion,
who has for the last year or more been involved with the members of this
List as more than a distant lurker. I want to know how each of these people
plan to accomplish the goals that they are so adamantly committed to.

Dennis S. Wish, PE



-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Higgins [mailto:JillHiggins(--nospam--at)compuserve.com]
Sent: Saturday, May 13, 2000 9:54 AM
To: INTERNET:seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: RE: Seismic Design Manual - Vol. 2.


To Dennis's comments I would add

SEAOC's sheen is getting pretty tarnished these days. These error ridden
"manuals" reflect poorly on the organization itself. If we can't get it
right, we shouldn't be doing it at all.

Personally, I threw mine out. I wouldn't even give Volume I away for fear
that some poor start up engineer might actually design according to some of
those "examples".

I haven't seen volume II, since I expected it would be a waste of a good
$50. Seems it was a good decision from what is posted on the list.

Peter Higgins, SE