What is the real value of associations like APWA? Education opportunities, building relationship with peers, learning new industry trends, socializing with clients? How about all of the above? Every year APWA State Chapters meet for a statewide conference and following the state event, many members gather for the APWA National Conference for all of the above reasons. The value of these events differ for some, but everyone who works in Public Works finds something that enriches their professional career.
Arizona Statewide Conference will be heldAugust 1-3, at the Hilton El Conquistador in Tucson. You don’t want to miss this annual event. Highlights for this year include:
* Motivational Leadership Keynote speaker will kick off both days
* High quality programming for a full day of educational value
* Awards Luncheon will highlight this year's Winning Projects and Public Works employees
* Thursday's Night fun night will bring back the Roaring 20’s with food, drinks and fun.
* Join us Friday morning for our Meet & Greet, networking event with Public Work agencies.
* Hotel rooms are still only $89, you can book your room today
* Exhibit booths are still available, pick you preferred location and pay online.
** For those interested in attending the APWA PWX National Conference, join us August 26-29th in Kansas City.
The Arizona Chapter of the American Public Works Association, in keeping with its objectives, will award one or more $1,500 scholarships for 2018. Scholarships are presented to deserving students striving to complete educational requirements for a career path in public works. Degrees or Majors in Public Administration, Civil or Environmental Engineering, Public Works, and Water Resources Technology Programs are examples of related fields of study. Career objectives may be in the public or private sector, but in either case must be associated directly or indirectly with public works matters or agencies. The deadline for the application is June 15, 2018.
Following the APWA luncheon on March 21st, APWA President Bo Mills visited several large projects around the valley and then were joined by Arizona Board Members for an evening meal at Seasons 52. Board members learned that Bo travels to at least one chapter a week sharing the national board’s objectives and needs with the various chapters. Those attending the luncheon earlier that day learned that Bo worked his way up from the public works “ground floor” in Germantown, Tennessee, to the APWA presidency, while currently maintaining a leadership position in Germantown.
Bo congratulated the Arizona Chapter on its membership and leadership as well as the quality and variety of our members and their activities and impact on the community. He told us he will be using our chapter as a reference point when visiting other chapters across the country as he returned to Germantown for work on Thursday.
APWA Networking Event Members of the APWA AZ and the ASHE Phoenix joined the SMPS Thursday, March 22, at Camp Social on north 7th Street for an enjoyable LYB evening Leveraging their Beverages. The mixer included a March Madness game to help everyone meet each other, as well as a drawing for valuable prizes. It was a super opportunity to meet new acquaintances, discuss business, and to refresh existing relationships. We expect to get together again on April 8th at McCormick Railroad Park … plan to be there!
W.E. O’Neil Construction Company of Arizona Welcomes Brian Abbey as Project Manager
Phoenix, Arizona, March, 2018 – W.E. O’Neil is pleased to announce the addition of Brian Abbey to our team of construction professionals. Brian will serve in the role of project manager on the Eternal Springs Senior Living project.
Recently relocating to Phoenix from New Jersey, Brian brings 30 years of industry experience in all types of construction, with extensive experience in the Hospitality, Retail, and Entertainment market sectors. A Summa Cum Laude graduate of Queens College, Brian’s past experience has included the roles of mason, labor foreman, superintendent, estimator and project manager.
W.E. O’Neil Construction Company of Arizona Names Jeff Brewer as Project Superintendent
Tucson, Arizona, March, 2018 – W.E. O’Neil is pleased to announce the addition of Jeff Brewer to our team of construction professionals as Project Superintendent.
Jeff has 37 years of experience in the construction industry, starting as a carpenter, and quickly advancing to carpentry foreman and then project superintendent, a position he has held for 24 years. His experience has included work for many high profile clients throughout Arizona with project types including historic renovation, education, manufacturing, public safety, retail, aerospace, and office.
Clients are from Venus, Consultants from Mars
Or, why you and your client don’t speak the same language
By Mike Ellegood, PSMJ
There has been a lot of talk recently about running government like a business; guess what, it doesn’t work; it can’t work and there is good reason for that.
First off consider your private sector business model.Fundamentally it’s stone simple, three steps:
1. Find work
2. Do work
3. Get paid
There you have it six words, three simple tasks and that, in a nutshell, is the consultant business model. Now let’s consider your public sector clients model:
1. Follow the rules, all of them all the time, even when they conflict or perhaps violate the laws of physics.
2. Appease the Politicians
3. Satisfy the nay-sayers
4. Avoid the press
5. Fight with the permitting people
6. Deal with other agencies
7. Keep a low profile
While all this is going on, the public sector client is trying to deliver the project with inadequate project management tools, an accounting system intended to identify who is to blame as opposed to being a tool for the PM, typically few if any institutionalized project management protocols and often less than highly qualified staff.
In most cases, the public client is highly motivated to deliver the project on time and on budget but there is so much else going on that it is very difficult to focus on project delivery.
“When you are waist deep in alligators, it’s real hard to remember that you are there to drain the swamp”
Having been on both sides of the fence, and, I might add, successful in both arenas, I can tell you that as difficult as it is as a consultant to deliver a project on time and budget with a demanding client who doesn’t want to hear about changes and additional charges but this pales in comparison with being a public sector project manager.Again with a fixed and often inadequate budget, dealing with other agencies or communities who want just “my bite from the apple” and often distrustful elected officials.Or the community meeting with electeds in attendance populated with the “Citizens Opposed to Nearly Everything” (CONE) or the inevitable NIMBY.You sir or madam are simply pawns in this political chess game.
OK, so you are a consultant, how do you make your clients life easier and in the process become that “trusted advisor” that makes a client for life?Some easy steps:
1. Communicate:prepare and send frequent progress and status reports to your client whether requested or not (I have a simple format for this report, email me, mellegood@PSMJ.com for a free format)
2. Bill every project every month
3. Be open and honest, do what you say you are going to do and follow up.
4. Offer to be an intermediary with the public on a controversial project so you take the heat not your client.
5. Go into contract negotiations with a great deal of knowledge of what it will take to deliver the project and during the negotiations display your depth of knowledge and preparation.
6. Don’t be afraid to request a change if there is a distinct departure from the original negotiated scope but do not pepper the client with change requests. (In most cases, changes require board approval and your client will be required to thoroughly justify a change to a skeptical elected official.)
There is more of course to this but for starters, remember that your client operates in an alternative universe, best to understand it.
Mesa Fire Station No. 203
The City of Mesa, Perlman Architects, and FCI Constructors built Mesa Fire Station 203 using the City-wide prototype, but on a 50% smaller site.
Information from Award Submittal
Fire Station No. 203 is a single-story, 3-bay, 12,000 s.f. fire station based on the City of Mesa prototype floor plan developed by Perlman Architects as a neighborhood station. This fire station is located at Alma School and Broadway Road in the heart of Mesa’s Industrial District. This site was 50% smaller than the original prototype design and it was challenging to provide all the same site features and amenities, as well as add a fueling cell and covered parking. The facility was designed to accommodate six firefighters, two captains, firefighter’s office, study, dayroom, dining room, kitchen, workout room, EMS and a training/community room.
The City of Mesa is committed to building environmentally responsible buildings through sustainable site development, energy conservation, water conservation and by providing improved indoor air quality. The facility was designed to a LEED Gold level, but certification was not part of the project due to budget constraints. Site improvements include photovoltaic ready parking lot canopies, LED site lighting, and native xeriscape plant palette.
The existing site was relatively flat and gently sloped from the northeast to the southwest with elevations across the site varying by approximately one foot. The grading of the site was designed to strike a balance between limiting construction impacts with functionality and value engineering considerations. The site is small for the amount of proposed improvements and underground retention was necessary to meet code requirements. The retention was placed underneath the front and rear concrete pavement. Upon careful consideration, a StormTech system was selected based on the additional benefits provided over large buried tanks or pipes, such as providing infiltration and ease of maintenance. The StormTech system is designed primarily to be used under parking lots, roadways, and heavy earth loads saving valuable land for development.
An important component of any underground system is inspection and maintenance. The StormTech system has an Isolator Row, which is a row of StormTech chambers surrounded by a woven geotextile fabric and connected to a closely located manhole for easy access. The sediment laden initial first flush of each rain event enters the system through the Isolator Row. As storm water enters into the Isolator Row, sediments are captured, protecting the storage areas of the adjacent stone and chambers from sediment accumulation. The tough geotextile fabric provides a media for storm water filtration and provides a durable surface for maintenance operations. It is also designed to prevent scour of the underlying stone and remain intact during high pressure jetting. As an additional measure, all upstream catch basins have 24-inch deep sumps that will help facilitate sediment settling.