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RE: organization membership

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Da
I think that is my opinion as well. ICC doesn't really need my financial
support as they make their money selling codes. I joined to save money
on the purchase of codes (at least when they were ICBO) and don't really
see the need to support them financially when the code publication,
adoption and publishing process can be done much cheaper than it is done
now if only they would adopt less costly methods of codification
policies.
If there is one thing that SEA and ICC have in common it is their lack
of ability to seek newer methods of saving money in their daily
operation. While others may accuse me of being an advocate of doing
EVERYTHING via the Internet and pointing out the impracticality of such
an idea, take it from me that I have reconsidered the implication and
impracticality of this and agree with those who criticized me in the
past. However, they have used this to avoid the use of the internet
entirely to squander money on telephone conferencing, face to face
meetings (especially when not preparatory meetings were held or
discussed in a more economical manner).

Case in point. I joined the BSSC TS-7 committee about three years ago
and believed that the members of this committee would be able to discuss
the issues and code changes leading to the publication of the 2003 IRC.
There was no method of members having viable discussions, but model
drafts were sent to each member for review and for comment. Each draft
was kept private from the professional community and those involved had
the option of commenting in a letter to the committee, but their
opinions were never discussed within the members of the committee.

As a member and one who was computer literate, I had access to the same
listservices available to me through my web host and these lists could
be used or made private so that the only people who had access to the
discussions were those who worked on the committee. While I don't
believe that the productivity of ANY committee should be kept secrete
until it is ready to present on the floor of ICC for adoption, I created
a listservice for BSSC TS-7 to be used at my expense (which was offered
free as I had an unlimited number of mail lists that I was allowed to
use for the $94.00 a year charged by my web host.

Phil Lines of AF&PA was and still is the chairman of the committee and I
was wrong not to ask his permission - which I did not know I needed.
Still, I wrote to the members of the committee (and Phil) to let them
know that a "Private" list was set up to allow members an avenue of
discussion for which I was severely reprimanded by Phil Lines for
setting up a private list not approved by the BSSC organization. The
letter was submitted by e-mail to all members of the committee who were
instructed not to use the List I created and who were promised that a
list was in the works by BSSC for use by committee members.

That was back in 2001 and this is 2003 and still not discussion forum of
any kind has been created by BSSC for use by its members so as to hold
discussion forums. Those who wanted to discuss the code drafts were to
do so at the formal meetings which were held in hotels around the United
States. Since members traveled from all over (at their own expense) the
practicality of a small office engineer like myself traveling to such a
meeting and covering my own cost of transportation and lodging was
non-existent. I was instructed by Phil to submit any questions I had on
the code drafts to him. Now wouldn't it have been more productive to
open a line of communication between other members who might have had
reasonable discussions to either agree or argue against my provisions.
Instead what I found was a code draft in final stages and the input of
engineers who were in opposition to a prescriptive code - squelched from
suggesting that the code be rewritten in order to provide compliance
with the minimum standards of an engineered code.

I see this as a means to prevent the professional community from having
access to drafts and submitting their opinions to BSSC's TS-7 committee
and a way to limit the opinions of professionals so as to fast-track the
opinions of the NAHB, and AF&PA into a published code. 

Why support any means of code creation when the professional community
is omitted from the process until the final hour when they have the
least capability of offering valid arguments that might alter or change
the outcome of the code? This is exactly how committees work in SEA -
the work is not made available for members unless they become members of
the committee and if they do, they must attend live meetings at the
expense of the committee (SEA committees held nationally were paid for
by the organization in the past including the Computer Applications
Committee which I belonged to).  This is a waste of money as the grunt
work of the committee could have been accomplished over the internet
listservices while the fine tuning and discussion of the grunt work
could have been more productively discussed during live meetings.

What I proposed was neither one nor the other, but a productive use of
both. Phil Lines has done a good job of limiting the draft to those
members who were approved for membership based on limited space
available and I suppose I'll be asked to resign after this one since I
had nothing useful to offer that would not be stonewalled since my only
resource to discuss change was Phil Lines - I was warned from discussing
it with others on the committee and Phil would answer all my questions.
So why has he not pursued the use of online discussion forums to further
the fine tuning of the code by members with opposing opinions on the use
of a prescriptive code that does not meet the minimum requirements for
design as full-compliance engineered buildings?

I am 100% against any organization that hides their committee work from
the professional community and then ridicules those professional who
would have had intelligent arguments but who can not participate due to
cost, distance, lack of employer support or health reasons from
"PARTICIPATING' in their organization as Stan Caldwell suggest. Stan's
Advocacy committee holds a teleconferencing meeting every couple of
months. This is still a high cost of meetings and to date has very
little to offer since two of the five members (and not three if you
consider that I am resigning) have offered their resignation because
they simply did not have the time to do the group justice by spending
their time to prepare for the meetings.

Finally, this leaves the effectiveness of committee work up to the firms
large enough to support their employees participation. Phil Lines once
told me that he had to pay for his participation out of pocket the same
as I did - I don't really believe this as I would think since AF&PA has
much to gain in the codification of the IRC that they would at least
reimburse some of his expense to travel and certainly are not penalizing
him for the time he invests in the BSSC TS-7 committee anymore than
Halff Associates is charging Stan Caldwell for his time as chair of the
NCSEA Advocacy Committee.

In the mean time, I will invest my resources available to me in ICC only
if they compensate me with at least one code per year of my choosing AND
will spend the remainder of my resources on organizations such as LGSEA
who actually do something constructive for the professional community as
they are by creating streaming videos of their seminars with available
notes at reduced rates so that those who wish to learn about cold-form
steel can do so without traveling to other cities to attend a seminar
that they can't afford. This is certainly consideration for members and
non-members who have much to offer but are on limited resources and
don't earn six figures as a 30 year old engineer in the business.

Sincerely ,
Dennis S. Wish , PE

-----Original Message-----
From: dadie(--nospam--at)sbcglobal.net [mailto:dadie(--nospam--at)sbcglobal.net] 
Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2003 9:03 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: organization membership


i'm currently a member of asce and eeri.  i think i'll always be a
member of asce but i'm seriously considering dropping eeri.  i love the
supplied publications but that's about as far as my eeri benefits seem
to go. admittedly, there is no local group to speak of.  they produce
several interesting looking publications but there prices are STEEP
(VERTICAL).  the "member discount" is marginal - at best.

i guess i'm mainly looking for deep member discounts on publications and
seminars.

i'm considering joining aisc, aci, or icc.

anyone have comments / advice?

tia
da


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