Archive for the ‘Gilbert Town Council’ Category

Captain Rick: Gordon Ray is a chief research investigator for NNCIA, a group of citizens working to prevent Gilbert Arizona from adopting unnecessary 2012 ICC Building Codes into law. He presents guest commentary on this important subject facing Gilbert and thousands of cities across America. Gordon is a leader of liberty that people from all cities across America and beyond should pay attention to.

Guest Commentary

by

Gordon Ray

Gilbert, Arizona

image

To all Defenders of Freedom of Choice and Liberty,

The town management of Gilbert, AZ came up with several reasons that they felt the town council should adopt the 2012 ICC Building Codes into law before any of the councilmen had a chance to even read them.
The ICC 2006 codes were adopted on November 13, 2007 with no discussion from council. The following statement was also adopted at the same time!

Any person found guilty of violating any provision of this Ordinance shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not to exceed two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) or by
imprisonment for a period not to exceed six (6) months, or both such fine and imprisonment. Each day that a violation continues shall be a separate offence punishable as herein described.

A group of concerned citizens found out about the plan and they started to do some research into town management’s reason for adoption of the 2012 ICC codes. The result of the research has been enlightening, to say the least! The citizens group found out, through their research, that every single reason for adoption presented by town management, in their opinion, was flawed.

The town management continued to press for adoption. The citizens group began an education campaign to gain support for their movement to make the codes voluntary (per the ICC preface page) except for structural items and
life/safety items.

As the citizen’s group studied, they found out that the ICC is just a non-profit group of businessmen with ties directly to the executive branch of the federal government! Did anyone pay attention when President Obama proclaimed March as "National Building Code Month"? These men found out that they can make a lot of money by stacking committees to approve certain building products that would then be listed in the codes they wrote. These men would then sell their code books to town and city councils and get the councils to pass the codes into law for them!
Once the codes were law, their products would be mandated for use by every builder and would then make millions for the code writers and their people.

It appears that all towns and cities think that they need to adopt the latest codes for "status reasons" so that they do not look as being "backwards" to other communities. With that apparent mindset by the town of Gilbert, the citizens group came up with 3 amendments to be added to the adoption of the 2012 ICC codes that would limit the enforcement of the codes to important items only.
They are as follows:
Amendment #1 – Omit the Energy and Green Code completely (must not be adopted as optional).
Amendment #2 – Restrict enforcement of the ICC codes to the existing plan review and inspection checklists, which are already in place. These existing checklists can be reviewed, amended, and updated as needed by the Town Council. With only the important code items being enforced, it makes for more consistency in plan reviews and especially in field inspections. (not to mention the reduction of the time involved reviewing plans and making inspections.) 
Amendment #3 – Establish an ongoing review process to identify and remove mandates that are not life/safety.
Our group feels that the important life/safety issues were addressed and implemented many years ago in previous codes. They have now become common practice. We propose keeping those items in place. We do not see a need to become "more safe" with thousands of dollars of useless codes adopted every three years! We do not feel in danger when we enter an older home or building that was built under the former outdated ICC code or any other code for that matter.

Here are some questions to consider when you think that we NEED to be on the latest and greatest codes:
When you made the decision to buy the home you are in now, did you for even one second consider the "code" the home was built under in making that decision? Or, did you think, because this is an older home, is this home going to be a safe home for my kids? Or did you just think "how will this home serve my family’s needs"? Knowing full well that you could add or change anything you want to make the home serve the needs of your family after you moved in.
We want safe homes like everyone else! We do not want to be forced to buy products or to be mandated, by law, to install all the unnecessary items that should be optional in a "free market"  that are now called out in the ever-changing ICC family of codes.

Gordon
For more information on this subject, visit: http://www.nonewcodes.com/

I welcome your comments, likes, shares and following of my blog! (If not visible, click the red title above)

Associated ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Report Categories:

Building Codes

Gilbert Town Council

Gilbert Council Proper Votes

Gilbert Council Scorecard

Guest Commentary

Advertisements

Captain Rick: The Council of Gilbert, Arizona will vote Thursday on the controversial issue of adopting ICC’s 2012 building codes. Local builders say adoption of this code upgrade is forcing elevated costs because of non-life-safety standards, especially ‘energy-saving’ and ‘green’ ones, which ultimately end up being passed to the home buyers.

I believe the ICC is a ‘money hungry’, ‘union-like’ organization that is on track to become the world’s “Big Brother”…being fueled by our local government’s sensation for being a blind follower and investor of citizen tax dollars in ‘blind waste’. I despise the ICC sucking in my fellow Gilbert citizens as victims. Other cities, states and countries should pay close attention to this so that they do not also become victims of the ICC “Big Brother”.

image

I consider this an extremely important issue…one of the most important in my 16 years as a Gilbert citizen.

I share with you an email I sent to the Town Council of Gilbert, Arizona today:

Mayor John Lewis and Councilmembers,

I urge you to reject approval of incorporation of the 2012 ICC Code into Gilbert building code law, unless amended as follows

I urge you to approve an amendment to eliminate or make voluntary the ‘Green’ and ‘Energy-saving’ sections of the code.

While these sections contain some good ideas and new technology, they also contain some bad ideas and technology that is already obsolete. I offer the case of the CFL bulb as a prime example. It is stipulated in the 2012 ICC code, yet this technology is already obsolete, proven to be a ‘waste hazardous’ detriment to our land fills. CFL lighting is rapidly being overtaken by LED lighting. A few short years ago all of the HDTV sets in the world were back lit by CFL lighting. That is all history. Solid state LED lighting has totally taken over the HDTV industry. The same is rapidly taking place in the home lighting arena. This is just one example of outdated technology stipulated in the 2012 ICC code.

If ICC is paying attention, I suspect we will see them catch up and incorporate LED technology in the 2015 code. The important point I make is that technology is expanding at a far greater speed than the intelligence of the ‘old world idiots’ at ICC. To make any of their ‘green’ and ‘energy-saving’ technology mandatory, would be like taking a chain an wrapping it around the legs of our builders. The ONLY intelligent way to keep up with the rapidly expanding world of technology is to make all of this ‘stuff’ voluntary. Lets let technology be the driver…not some archaic set of outdated ICC code.

Think what would have happened to HDTVs if America let the ICC dictate how HDTVs were designed and built. We would be living in the dark ages. Its time to loosen the reigns of government and let the professionals take control (none of which reside at the ‘money hungry, union-like’ ICC). It will produce a lot finer America.

I would like to see Gilbert set a shining example for the world to view…how we do things right…not by following other communities that have lost the ability to think and innovate…needing to incorporate ‘caveman’ technology as presented by the ICCs ‘Green’ and ‘Energy-saving’ codes.

I also believe it would be of great benefit for Gilbert to create a new commission of volunteers to help mold future Gilbert building code law. I envision this commission to be on a similar level of or at least an extension of our planning commission. Perhaps they could be assigned the task of wading thru the massive, mile-high, mountain of ICC codes and determine what is really good for Gilbert.

It is no secret that I am not fond of the ICC, a union-like, not-for-profit corporation that is using its vast wealth to become our world’s ‘Big Brother’. I see the citizens of Gilbert lie among its endless sea of victims.

By making these codes voluntary, it gives builders extra options, but does not obligate them to suffer losses realized from bad and often outdated code. Gilbert code should stipulate code which primarily promotes life safety. It should not mandate energy efficiency or green technology…but rather encourage the ideas as voluntary.

For increased understanding of ICC Building Codes, please read my series of posts on ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/building-codes/

Captain Rick

View the minutes of this historic Gilbert Town Council meeting in the first comment below. 

I welcome your comments, likes, shares and following of my blog! (If not visible, click the red title above)

Associated ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Report Categories:

Building Codes

Gilbert Town Council

Gilbert Council Proper Votes

Gilbert Council Scorecard

Captain Rick: Councilmember Victor Petersen says Gilbert Arizona’s new budget represents a decrease in government efficiency by spending more tax dollars per citizen. The Town Council recently adopted a $466 million budget for FY14 that included a massive increase in employee compensation due to a new over-inflated pay structure and addition of several new $80,000 to $100,000 positions. The $12 million (12%) increase in general fund spending results in a spike in general fund costs of an average of $39 for each of Gilbert’s estimated 233,000 citizens and presents a 6% decrease in government efficiency.

The spreadsheet Victor presents below demonstrates this spike in costs. As an engineer, I examined its calculations and confirm they are accurate. The slope of the incline for the coming year closely resembles the incline experienced during the three reckless spending years leading up to the stock market crash and ‘Great Recession’. Considering the anemic condition of our economy, with GDP growth well below what is considered healthy, this new spending spree concerns me greatly. We can not afford another year or two of addition reckless spending. I applaud Victor for bringing this important information to our attention. I believe cities across America and beyond will be interested in the data Victor presents.

Victor was one of two councilmembers that voted ‘NO’ … against adoption of the budget as presented. This has earned him Captain Rick’s “PROPER VOTE” on ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL’s “Gilbert Council Scorecard”, which keeps track of how Gilbert Councilmembers vote on important, controversial issues.   

I invited Victor to present guest commentary on ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL concerning his vote on this important fiscal event. He graciously accepted. I am honored to present …

Guest Commentary

by

Victor Petersen

Councilmember, Gilbert, Arizona

image

The latest budget adoption represents a decrease in government efficiency in Gilbert. One of our strategic initiatives is "High Performing Government," which is a worthy goal but our council has settled for less performance by spending significantly more tax dollars per citizen than in years past.

It is especially troubling that the data suggests that we are heading off in the same direction that lead to the demand for a tax increase which is represented in this graph by the bubble from FY 06 to FY 10.

image

This data shows that the amount we are spending for ongoing costs per citizen are increasing significantly. It’s troubling that it appears to be heading off in the same direction we saw before the big push for a sales tax increase. The simple fact is that where spending leads taxes must follow. I fear the direction that has been taken will require correction just like the data shows happened for the tax push years and correction was and is a painful process.

The bottom line is that instead of getting more efficient by making each tax dollar work harder we are actually seeing the opposite trend. I believe we owe it to ourselves and the taxpayers to improve in governmental efficiency and raise the bar we have set.

It must be recognized that most of this ongoing increase is due to the massive increase in compensation passed by the council. While some increase was merited Councilmember Taylor and I proposed a lesser increase which would have put total compensation more inline with the market and saved millions per year.

I am all for progress when it means replacing something good with something better, but I am a conservative when it’s proposed to replace what’s best with something less. I want to conserve the successes of the past and build on them for greater successes in the future. I believe in the right of our citizen’s to expect and even demand this and I believe in our staff’s ability to achieve it. We have set the bar here in Gilbert in government efficiency and we are the only ones who can raise it. We owe it to our citizens and to ourselves to do it.

Victor Petersen

____________________________

I welcome your comments, likes, shares and following of my blog! (If not visible, click the red title above)

Associated ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Report Categories:

Gilbert Council Scorecard

Previous Gilbert Council PROPER VOTE Reports

Gilbert Town Council Reports

Gilbert Arizona Reports

Captain Rick: Councilmember Jared Taylor says Gilbert, Arizona missed a great opportunity to continue a course of fiscal responsibility when the Council adopted the $466 million budget for FY14 that included the addition of several new $80,000 to $100,000 positions with no value added for the town’s 230,000 citizens.

Jared was one of two councilmembers that voted ‘NO’ … against adoption of the budget as presented. This has earned him Captain Rick’s “PROPER VOTE” on ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL’s “Gilbert Council Scorecard”, which keeps track of how Gilbert Councilmembers vote on important, controversial issues.

I invited Jared to present guest commentary on ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL concerning his vote on this important fiscal event. He graciously accepted. I am honored to present …

Guest Commentary

by

Jared Taylor

Councilmember, Gilbert, Arizona

image

The Town budget discussion for 2014 was a great opportunity to continue a course of fiscal responsibility. The budget represents many things, particularly the priorities of an organization.

As I looked at the budget proposals for fiscal year 2014 (FY14), many positive things were included to build a safer cleaner community. However, there were also areas of concern which made the Town government less efficient and less valuable to our citizens. For example, Town Staff recommended a number of administrative positions that cost approximately $80,000-$100,000 annually for each position. These positions would add no direct value to the lives of our citizens.

The larger concern of this budget for me was the increased burden it places on each citizen without increasing the value of the Town services to each citizen. In other words, we are not getting new parks or services although we are paying more for what we get. This increased rate of spending outpaced inflation at a rate which created multi-million dollar deficits.

The recommendation to have the budget follow the rate of inflation was based on the wise advice by Councilmember Jenn Daniels to create a policy to guide this and future budgets. This policy would avoid Council from going through the details of the budget, but would give the Town Manager the direction and flexibility to manage the Town within responsible limits.

The primary argument to increase spending was to fully fund what is known as WIGs. (A.k.a. Wildly Important Goals) One of the major outcomes for the WIGs is for the Town to be more operationally efficient. Unfortunately, we are not becoming more efficient with this budget, but less efficient. Other concerns were presented that we are not able to find enough money to cut although those were quickly addressed.

In the end, a budget with too much spending was passed by a 5-2 vote. Further, this budget was not based on an agreed upon policy or a serious cost containment strategy. The FY14 budget’s rate of growth outpaces inflation and puts us on a path to run a deficit in 1-2 years. Any uptick in sales tax revenues will mask this for a few years, but when another downturn hits, we’ll be forced to make a decision to raise taxes or make drastic cuts again. The recommendation to follow the rate of inflation more effectively controls our spending and is more aligned with other costs hard-working taxpayers are facing day-to-day.

I’m committed to a small and efficient Town government. Our staff aspires to be a “high-performing government” on paper, but unfortunately doesn’t consistently follow high-performing practices of other organizations. We can do better and I’m looking forward to working with them more to understand ways to stay focused on adding value to our citizen’s lives.

Government should not be a jobs program. Government exists to protect individual rights. As Abraham Lincoln said 150 years ago, government should be “of the people, by the people, for the people” and our budgets should reflect this commitment. I will continue to work to make it so in Gilbert.

Jared Taylor

____________________________

I welcome your comments, likes, shares and following of my blog! (If not visible, click the red title above)

Associated ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Report Categories:

Gilbert Council Scorecard

Previous Gilbert Council PROPER VOTE Reports

Gilbert Town Council Reports

Gilbert Arizona Reports

Captain Rick: Gilbert, Arizona Councilmembers face an important vote in coming weeks to determine if Gilbert will adopt the 2012 ICC building codes into Gilbert building code. Many local residents are concerned, some fearing the city will control what kind of light bulbs they can use and more. This is a viable concern that all Americans should devote significant interest to. The liberty of all Americans is at stake!

During the past few weeks I have heard lots of concern from friends in Gilbert concerning this important pending vote. Some concerns seem to be based on fear, but many on realistic concern. As a long-time, happy, home owner in Gilbert, I wish to help everyone understand this important decision by utilizing my life-long engineering skills, which span the mechanical, electrical and electronic spectrum, to help sort out the good from the bad…the right from the wrong…so that the most intelligent decision is reached. My hope is that our council’s decision will establish Gilbert as a national leader of intelligent building code enhancements…not a follower of code hype that supports illogical dreams of energy efficiency and safety.

image

History of the ICC  (International Code Council)

It’s  a conglomeration of codes compiled by three of the nations most respected code groups:

Building Officials Code Administrators International (BOCA) were used on the East Coast and throughout the Midwest of the United States

Southern Building Code Congress International (SBCCI) were used in the Southeast

International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) covered the West Coast and across to most of the Midwest.

By early 1990s it became obvious that the country needed a single coordinated set of national model building codes.

The nation’s three model code groups decided to combine their efforts and in 1994 formed the International Code Council (ICC) to develop codes that would have no regional limitations.

After three years of extensive research and development, the first edition of the International Building Code was published in 1997.

By the year 2000, ICC had completed the International Codes series. It has released an updated version of the code every three years since. The latest and most controversial is the 2012 edition.

ICC Building Code Requirements

Building code requirements generally apply to the construction of new buildings and alterations or additions to existing buildings, changes in the use of buildings, and the demolition of buildings or portions of buildings at the ends of their useful or economic lives.

As such, building codes obtain their effect from the voluntary decisions of property owners to erect, alter, add to, or demolish a building in a jurisdiction where a building code applies, because these circumstances routinely require a permit.

The plans are subject to review for compliance with current building codes as part of the permit application process.

Alterations and additions to an existing building must usually comply with all new requirements applicable to their scope as related to the intended use of the building as defined by the adopted code.

Some changes in the use of a building often expose the entire building to the requirement to comply fully with provisions of the code applicable to the new use because the applicability of the code is use-specific.

A change in use usually changes the applicability of code requirements and as such, will subject the building to review for compliance with the currently applicable codes.

Existing buildings are not exempt from new requirements, especially those considered essential to achieve health, safety or general welfare objectives of the adopting jurisdiction, even when they are not otherwise subject to alteration, addition, change in use, or demolition. Such requirements typically remedy existing conditions, considered in hindsight, inimical to safety, such as the lack of automatic fire sprinklers in certain places of assembly, as became a major concern after the Station nightclub fire in 2003 killed 100 people.

ICC Building Requirements in Question

This is a developing report. I look to my fellow Gilbert neighbors and all concerned to help develop this report by commenting with your concerns and ideas for improvement.

I welcome your comments, likes, shares and following of my blog! (If not visible, click the red title above)

Associated ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Report Categories:

Building Codes: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/building-codes/

Gilbert Council Proper Vote Scorecard: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/gilbert-council-proper-vote-scorecard/

Gilbert Town Council: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/gilbert-town-council/

Sign the petition to have Gilbert govern itself  by having ICC codes treated as suggestions and recommendations only: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/gilbert-can-govern-itself/

Important Info from other sites:

Out of Control EPA and Arizona Code Enforcers: http://www.gilbertwatch.com/gilbertwatch/index.cfm/blog/out-of-control-epa-and-arizona-code-enforcers/

Quest for Excellence – Best Done Through Mandates or Personal Choice?: http://www.gilbertwatch.com/gilbertwatch/index.cfm/blog/quest-for-excellence-best-done-through-mandates-or-personal-choice/

Captain Rick: The Gilbert Arizona Town Council is set to eliminate study sessions that precede each council meeting. As a viewer of every Gilbert council meeting since 1997, I shared my concern with our council.

A copy of my email to the Gilbert Town Council on May 11, 2013:

image

Mayor Lewis and Council,

As a viewer of every council meeting and study session televised since 1997…and frequent council commentator, you know I am an avid supporter of council study sessions. They often contain info that is more meaningful and educational than that presented during the ‘show biz’ council meeting.

I know all of you have a busy schedule and your time is precious. Mine is also…so I understand. From council study discussion on 4/30, it sounds like most are in favor of ending the study sessions.

I have one simple request to make that I hope every member of council will honor. Please ensure all staff presentations, that have been a vital part of the study sessions, will become part of the regular council meetings. To me, they are a vital contribution to the process.

I encourage all to consider Ben Cooper’s remarks concerning the probable increased need to postpone council decisions…should more investigation and research be needed.

My ‘Proper Vote’ will always go to those who get it right the first time…not those who were the first to ‘jump on a popular ship headed for nowhere’. I urge all to slow the pace and get it right the first time. We did not elect you to be ‘speed demons’ or ‘show biz artists’. We elected you to represent our great town of Gilbert, Arizona with wisdom.

Captain Rick

I welcome your comments, likes, shares and following of my blog! (If not visible, click the red title above)

Associated ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Report Categories:

Gilbert Town Council: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/gilbert-town-council/

Gilbert Council Proper Vote Scorecard: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/gilbert-council-proper-vote-scorecard/

Gilbert Arizona: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/gilbert-arizona/

Captain Rick: Our cities welcome federal grant money, thinking the federal government has an endless supply of money that can be spent on anything its heart desires. The fact is the U.S. general fund is bankrupt, spending $1.1 trillion more than revenue received. Most federal grant dollars dished out by HUD are dollars printed with red ink…that add directly to the U.S. National Debt. Its time local government says NO to spending this red ink.

Three Gilbert Arizona Councilmembers have come forward to set an example for America to follow by placing their vote of NO for receiving federal grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). They are American pioneers. I hope other state and local representatives across America will pay attention to their lead and join the journey to save America form fiscal ruin.

The issue presented to the Gilbert, Arizona Town Council on April 4, 2013: Item 20: HUD Federal Grant of $748,764 for the benefit of low/medium income residents and to alleviate conditions of slum and blight, of which 20% ($149,753) is approved for administrative costs.

Councilmember statements presented during the meeting

image Jared Taylor

We have 16.8 trillion in national debt. Every day since Sep 28, 2007 we have added $3.86 billion to our national debt. The money for this appropriation doesn’t really exist. It may be something that congress passes on a bill, but the United States government is absolutely broke at the federal level. The local and state levels have constitutions and statutes that require us to have balanced budgets. The national government doesn’t and the are running massive deficits and so while they pass these allocations that say there is money available, it doesn’t exist. We are borrowing money from the Federal Reserve and its loaned money from China. That concerns me. What we are doing is putting a future burden on our children and that is not fair.

image Eddie Cook

The federal government doesn’t have the money. If we believe these are things we need to do, lets do it on our own dime…our own money. Taking federal money is just not the right decision at this point.

image Victor Petersen

Where we have power, we have responsibility. Tonight we have power over some of those funds. If we are going to participate in that federal spending, I don’t think it’s a good choice and I don’t think we can resolve ourselves of that responsibility. We need to temper our anxiety. If we do that I think we loose our moral position to complain about spending at the federal government.

image

Captain Rick’s PROPER VOTE Award: I have awarded Councilmembers Petersen, Taylor and Cook for their ‘Proper Vote’ of ‘NO’. Their awards have been added to my Gilbert Council Scorecard:

Captain Rick’s Gilbert Council Scorecard: My scorecard keeps track of all of the ‘Proper Votes’ from previous important and controversial votes:  https://atridim.wordpress.com/gilbert-council-scorecard/

I welcome your comments, likes, shares and following of my blog! (If not visible, click the red title above)

Info from previous reports:

Federal Grants: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/federal-grants/

U.S. Debt Crisis: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/u-s-debt-crisis/

Fiscal Cliff 101: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/fiscal-cliff-course-101/