Message from the President
July 31, 2012
Dear ACEC/PA Members:
Although it is summertime (a “long hot summer?”), our various committees have been extremely busy conducting planning for activities this fall and winter, and conducting ongoing committee business.
On June 6, a kick-off meeting with committee chairs was conducted to discuss activities for the 2012/2013 year. Since that time, various committees have conducted meetings or activities.
The Transportation Committee has been extremely active – the PennDOT Task Force Meeting was conducted in June, the Contract Administration Subcommittee conducted meetings with PennDOT and the Turnpike Commission in June and July, and the Quality Control Subcommittee met with PennDOT in July.
The Public Relations Committee (chaired by Margy Coyne), conducted its first meeting of the 2012/2013 year. The Committee is working to improve ACEC/PA’s media presence and revamp this newsletter. The Committee also met to determine who will be the two lucky recipients of the ACEC/PA College Scholarship Fund for the 2012/2013 School Year. Once these selections are final, we will publicize the winners.
The Facilities Committee, chaired by Glen Hair, continued coordination with the American Institute of Architects of PA to establish a Joint Task Force with the Department of General Services, similar to the PennDOT Task Force. Discussions are going well and we anticipate a kick-off meeting of the Task Force this fall.
The Awards Committee, chaired by Judy Hricak, met to conduct planning for the February 2013 ACEC/PA Diamond Awards Banquet, including streamlining the Banquet and implementing new cost cutting initiatives.
The Annual Meeting Planning Committee, co-chaired by Jill Thompson and myself, selected a hotel for the 2013 Annual Meeting (the Solomar Hotel in the famous Gas Lamp District in downtown San Diego; the Solomar is a short walk from the San Diego waterfront).
The Municipal Practices, chaired by John Nawn, last met to finalize documents and templates that municipal governments may use to assist in their procurement, consultant selection and zoning/land use practices.
Business Practices Committee, chaired by Joe O’Neil, has been active conducting the 2012 Office Practices Survey and beginning discussions on re-instituting the ACEC/PA Emerging Principals Program.
The Government Affairs Committee, chaired by Jenn Granger (with Vice Chair Jill Thompson) has been particularly active – they have not only been busy scheduling Government Affairs Meetings for the fall and winter, but also coordinating attendance at fund raisers with our legislators, and promoting increased transportation funding. Note that during the past 2 months, Eric Madden, Executive Vice President, and various ACEC members have attended meetings with Senator Pat Toomey, Representative Mike Hanna, Representative Glen Grell, Representative Joe Markosek, and Senator John Rafferty. Additional meetings are being planned at this time.
On Friday, July 13, the Executive Committee, Government Affairs, and EVP Eric Madden conducted a brainstorming/strategy session regarding funding in Pennsylvania – advancing a Transportation Funding Solution for Pennsylvania, is and will be our Number 1 priority.
The strategy session also included meetings with aides to key legislators in transportation leadership in the Pennsylvania House and Senate. Our latest information is that there will be no transportation legislation in the short session of the General Assembly this fall, and that the next window of opportunity will be the session beginning in late January. We are focusing our efforts on advancing transportation funding legislation in the winter session. We will also be participating with the Keystone Transportation Funding Coalition in the 3rd round of legislative visits this fall.
I again strongly urge all of our members to contact and/or meet with your state representative and senator to discuss the critical importance of passage of legislation to provide increased transportation funding this winter/spring and the extremely negative impact of doing nothing, i.e. the impact on infrastructure and jobs (not only engineering jobs, but construction, suppliers, etc.).
Thomas E. Riester, P.E.