WABO 2019 Annual Business Meeting - Blaine , WA

 ICC  President, William Bryant, swears in the 2019/2020 Board of Directors 


As I look back on my first year as President, the phrase “time sure flies” immediately comes to mind.  It has been a very busy year for many of us given the development tempo.  Our Annual Business Meeting at the Semiahmoo Resort proved to be a momentous occasion due in large part to the efforts of our Executive Director, Tara Jenkins, together with her top-notch team.  It was gratifying to have the opportunity to recognize the superior contributions of a select group of folks through our annual awards program.  

A major milestone was achieved in the WABO Code Official Accreditation Program (COAP).  This first-in-the-nation  three-year program provides in-depth training tailored to prepare candidates for jobs in building departments across the entire state.   We congratulated the first group of students who were recognized along with their instructors as recipients of this year’s Outstanding Educational Achievement Award (students James Tumelson, Brenda Reifsnyder, Eric Carter, Shane Daugherty & Rodney Shea and instructors Amy Donlan, Andrew Lunde, Dave Cantrell & Jim Tinner). 

Under the Bylaws, the President has the authority to recognize outstanding contributions to WABO mission accomplishment through presentation of a President’s Award.  I chose to exercise this authority in recognition of the personal effort to make International Code Council governance more transparent on the part of Jay Elbettar, Past president of the ICC.  Although Jay was unable to receive my award in person, it was presented in my behalf by our ICC Board representative, Dave Spencer, at the ICC Summer Board Meeting in Denver, CO. 

For a small city that has accomplished big things in a condensed period of time, the City of Blaine, was awarded this year’s Jurisdictional Outreach Award.  The keynote of these accomplishments was an expanded awareness of building codes and safety across the City.  Mayor Bonnie Onyon was on hand to receive this award. 

WABO Associate of the Year was awarded to Hoyt Jeter in recognition of his profound unselfish contribution to mentor and prepare the next generation of code officials. Hats off to Hoyt for eyes on future mission accomplishment.   WABO Code Official of the Year went to Shane Nilles, City of Cheney Building Official.  His passion and dedication to the codes is second to none, distinguished by his status as an ICC Master Code Professional (MCP) – Congratulations, Shane! 

I am pleased to report that the Oregon Building Officials Association (OBOA) is eager to reach out and renew the relationship with WABO of years gone by.  Sharing many of the same regional code issues and construction method concerns was the foundation of this strong professional relationship.  Ted Zuk, their current president, was able to attend our Annual Business Meeting and personally vouch for the value of reforging the friendship and camaraderie between our two associations.  Both myself and 1st Vice President, Kurt Aldworth, will be attending the OBOA annual meeting this summer to reciprocate the encouragement and help rekindle the spirit. 

WABO continues to flourish from a fiscal standpoint with approval by the membership of a record-setting budget.  Available resources can afford ample scholarships for member attendance at this Fall’s ICC Public Comment Hearings in Las Vegas.  You are strongly encouraged as individuals to step up and help make the construction codes better through participation in what will become the 2021 model codes (Group B).  If your jurisdiction can give you the time, WABO will provide for the travel.  If you have questions, Micah Chappell, our TCD Chair, has the answers.

Of further note is that we are looking for WASafe regional representatives…  if this is your passion, contact the WABO Office. 

Please mark your calendars for our Fall Business meeting that will be held the 17th and 18th of October at the Heathman Lodge in Vancouver.


Committee Reports

Technical Code Development - Chair Micah Chappell, CBO

Technical Code Development Committee (TCD) discussed several of the proposals we submitted to the State for the Group 2 Codes, how those are moving through the process, and possible public comments. TCD spent a significant amount of time discussing the openness of two sides for townhouses and a public comment modifying our proposal on habitable attics. TCD would still like to hear additional suggestions on these items, so if you have some input, please contact the TCD Chair.

TCD also discussed some proposals that the committee has been monitoring for the 2021 ICC Group B Codes and a few of the public comments that were submitted. The final topic for the Committee was a reminder to get your applications in for scholarships to attend all or part of the Public Comment Hearings this fall.

Emergency Management Committee - Chair Ray Cockerham, CBO

Emergency Management Council update
Ray attended the last Emergency Management Council (EMC) meeting on June 6th at Camp Murray.  At the committee meeting we discussed the positive change in tone at the meetings with the recent introduction of the new Emergency Management Council Chair Sandi Duffey the Emergency Management Coordinator for Grant County. 

Two new members of the EMC were introduced representing the American Public Works Association (APWA)and Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).  These positions represent a change to resiliency (preparedness and recovery).  The recovery element of the Emergency Management planning is being captured in several agendas.  On key effort is represented in SB 5106 that creates a workgroup to study and make recommendations on resiliency activities for natural hazards such as floods, landslides, wildfires, earthquakes as well as other natural disasters.  WABO has selected Jon Sui as the representative. 

The State Auditor completed an audit of the State Emergency Management Division
Key finding were; the state EMD needs to play a larger roll in credentialing and evaluating the state benefit to be in a position to push resources

Audit Highlights https://www.sao.wa.gov/governments/emergency-management-division/

Emergency management CouncilAlternate Voting member
We received a few volunteers; I will work with the Executive Board to make a nomination. 

WA Safe -
Introduced the Website concept being developed with WABO staff and the WA-Safe Group.

WASafe operation guides are in development WABO Procedures

WE NEED WASafe – WABO Coordinators.
Thank you to those of you who expressed interest at the meeting we will be following up soon. 
 rayc@ci.puyallup.wa.us Please note coordinator in the subject line.

Training- The Emergency Management Committee will fund travel and accommodations in accordance with WABO policies (please follow up with Ray or Tara for questions)
EMD0001 SEOC Foundations Course training - Next available training is Friday, November 15, 2019 and registration is open.
Please go to their Training Calendar for more information and to apply: https://mil.wa.gov/training-and-exercise

King County EMAC
Nicholas Gibbins with King County Emergency Management Program Manager

Nick has contacted me about an open seat on King County’s Emergency Management Advisory Committee. There is interest in having a WABO member on the advisory committee.  Please contact me if you are interested.



Government Relations - Chair Tim Woodard

WABO Annual Meeting Legislative Committee Report

The Government Relations committee did not meet at the summer 2019 Business meeting. An update was provided that included the following:

  • An overview of the 2019 Legislation that passed the last cycle.
  • An update to inform the membership who will be representing WABO on the two work groups that were created for Contractor Bonding (SB 5795) and Seismic Resilience (SSB 5106).
Representatives for the Contractor Bonding Bill include Lee Kranz and Gary Schenk.
Representatives for the Seismic Resilience Bill include Jon Siu and Ray Cockerham.
  • Amy Brackenberry (WABO Lobbyist) provided an update on comments made at a recent housing forum that she attended on July 8th, 2019 in Bellevue. Comments likened affordable housing issues to “building permitting processes and fees”. WABO will continue to monitor this situation and will have representatives speak to this at the House Local Government Committee’s next work session to be held on July 29th, 2019.
  • A call to the membership was made to solicit volunteers to be on the new subcommittee. We are currently seeking two individuals from the east side of the state and two individuals from the west side of the state.   



Education Committee - Co-Chair Todd Blevins, CBO

The education committee was proactive in its meeting at the WABO Annual Business meeting at the beautiful Semiahmoo Resort, setting up classes for our Education Institute and fall conference ahead of schedule. There was discussion on adding multiple days of fire code classes to our schedule to draw more fire personnel to the institute.  The committee also brought in some information on new instructors and classes.

Our main focus is to bring classes that educate and inform in an interesting and engaging way. We hope this will make our Institute stand out across the state and draw many more jurisdictions to WABO’s great educational opportunities. If you would like to be part of this committee please feel free to contact me. 

Certification & Registration - Chair Brian Smith, CBO

The C & R Committee met in Blaine this Summer and discussed the following items:

WABO Mass Timber Certification Update
The SIRP Board has tasked a subcommittee to develop a Special Inspection Program for Mass Timber structures.  To date the subcommittee has met twice and the next meeting is scheduled for Aug 20th in SeaTac.  When the committee has completed their work, it will be presented to the general membership for approval.

WABO/ICC Firestopping Exam on Pronto
ICC reached out to the WABO in late March to see if WABO would be willing share our Firestopping exam with ICC so they could provide it as a joint WABO/ICC certification on their Pronto website.
WABO and ICC held a conference call to discuss ICC’s proposal and asked them to send us a written proposal with the terms they’re asking for. 
To date, we have not heard back from ICC.

WABO Special Inspector Guide Update
The SIRP board has asked Jay Ponce to begin the update on the WABO Special Inspector Guide to reflect the current WABO special inspection categories and also to align with the 2018 IBC.  This is slated to be complete prior to the state adoption of the 2018 codes on July 1, 2020.

A good discussion was held concerning special inspection and training available on the eastern half of the state.  C & R will look for more opportunities to provide additional training for jurisdictions and special inspection agencies on the east side.