BY ANTHONY J. FIORILLO, PE, SI, CGC, FBPE CHAIR (2017)
I have had the honor and pleasure of serving on the Florida Board of Professional Engineers with William C. Bracken, PE, SI, CFM, since January 2012. During that time, I have grown to admire his diligence, tenacity, and sense of fairness in executing his duties as board member, vice chair, and chair. Not only does Mr. Bracken lead a highly successful and growing firm, but he has dedicated countless hours to the Board’s business and promoting it. His accomplishments are too numerous to list, but I want to highlight a few of his initiatives.
As chair, Mr. Bracken expanded the Board’s Outreach Programs, Unlicensed Activity and Professional Involvement. One of the tasks identified under Unlicensed Activity included interfacing with professionally aligned regulatory authorities. Under his leadership, the Board tackled important issues by participating in joint meetings with the Florida Board of Architecture and Interior Design (FBAID) and the Building Officials Association of Florida (BOAF). Under Professional Involvement, the Board worked to develop relationships with engineering associations and societies. Because of those efforts, these groups now have the ability to participate in FBPE committees and in rule-making matters, as well as bring industry-related issues and concerns directly to the Board. Currently, FBPE has approximately 45 representatives for 12 national and statewide associations participating in the outreach program. These individuals have been involved in the decision making process with regard to signing and sealing rules, requirements to be a special inspector of threshold buildings and authorized representatives, and many others.
In addition to Mr. Bracken’s outreach efforts, he has been extremely dedicated to FBPE’s newsletter and communications. He consistently provides articles, committee updates, etc. to share with our licensees and the general public. This has been affirmed by the consistent positive feedback on the content within the newsletter, website, and other communications. In addition, Mr. Bracken frequently participates in presentations to the aforementioned engineering associations and societies and plans to continue to do so in the future.
In short, this guy leaps tall buildings in a single bound! Mr. Bracken, you have set the bar high and I am incredibly grateful for your many contributions, commitment, and dedication. I only wish I preceded you as Chair! In any event, I am honored the Board has entrusted me to serve as the Chair for 2017. I look forward to working with our fine team and to continue to build upon their success.
One of the pressing issues the Board must contend with is working with the Florida Building Commission (FBC) regarding its Declaratory Statement DS2014-061. Effectively, this statement requires that all existing buildings that meet the threshold requirement be treated as such for repair and alteration of structural components. This requires that a special inspector of threshold buildings be in responsible charge of the inspections, and in many instances precludes the design engineer from performing such work. Unfortunately, this statement has had a negative impact on many of our licensed engineers and potentially on the health, safety, and welfare of the public. Special inspectors of threshold buildings and their authorized representatives are well versed in new construction practices, but not all are knowledgeable in the nuances of structural repair, rehabilitation, or alteration work. The Board will work diligently with the commission and other organizations to find a solution.
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Best wishes in 2017,