President's Report Fall 2012

 by Trace Justice, CBO

October’s meeting was held in the timeless Davenport Hotel in Spokane.  It was unfortunate the attendance was lower than usual for the fall meeting, but the State Building Code Council meeting on Friday and with the ABM/Final Action Code Hearing starting two days later, may have contributed to the decreased participation.  The Davenport is a shining and ornate example in how a historic building can be restored and brought into compliance.  Joe Wizner was sharing with me about how the hotel was in major disrepair and heading toward demolition prior to its purchase.  Through the restoration process the building incorporated a sprinkler system and fire alarm system that was subtly worked into the ornate detailing as to not detract from the beauty of the place.   The Davenport has become a destination for travelers, weddings, conventions and dining in Northeast Washington, and I hope those of you who were unable to attend will be able make it the next time a meeting is held at this location.

The Great Washington Shakeout event also coincided with the start of the fall meeting on Thursday morning.  Though many of us were unable to participate with our jurisdictions at home, WABO remains a strong supporter of the State’s effort to raise public awareness that the Northwest is a very active seismic region and preparedness in government and all citizens cannot be overemphasized.  So often people become complacent since many of our events have been of low magnitude, and the northwest region does not receive the attention the hurricanes and tornados across the country receive based on their high frequency.  The lack of these types of wind events and droughts is what makes the NW so appealing to people from around the country and the world, but with the low frequency of significant seismic activity we can easily be lulled into complacency.   As code officials, we remain advocates to our communities for earthquake awareness and supporters of the State DEM and local EOC efforts.

Also due to the timing of the ICC ABM, our ICC representatives were not available to provide an ICC update at our Fall meeting.   For information purposes, Richard Weiland resigned as the ICC CEO and Dominic Sims was appointed as the acting CEO.  This made the ICC election of the Board of Directors significant, since it will be this Board that will be involved in the new CEO hiring.  The WABO/WPLBO supported candidates were successful in the election with the exception of Sharon Meyers.  Jim Brown was successful running from the floor against Sharon, so in essence we achieved 100% success for election of WABO supported candidates.    

This segues into the Final Action Code Hearings in Portland, where WABO was well represented.  I am thankful to the Technical Code Committee for the scholarship that allowed me to stay through the code hearings.  WABO is well respected across the nation for our code change efforts and dedicated to improving the codes we enforce within our communities.  It was a privilege to participate in the voting, and I even had the opportunity to testify on a code change proposal, which was a first, and a good experience, especially when the vote went as we desired.  So far, I have a perfect success record (1 for 1), so I should probably stop now, but if the opportunity presents itself again I would not hesitate to stand behind a WABO code change, regardless of the outcome. 

It is such a privilege to be a part of the WABO organization, the professionalism exhibited in all the committees and how this organization aspires to serve to the communities we live and work in across the state, thank you for your continued effort and commitment. 

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