Why A new Group? A/E/C-Public Works- Construction- A&E (Local Govt)

There goes Hal! Starting another group! Why? The answer is actually simple. I am trying to fill a niche which, based on recent experience on GovLoop, I believe has been under filled. As a result of participating in other groups including my own, I find people whose primary interests are not addressed. A little research shows that plays out in two possible ways: One, is they sign up in groups that address their secondary or “supplementary” interests and settle for that. or, they join the ranks of those who join GovLoop and are never heard from again after the first week. (Newcomers are usually not secure enough to start a new group) I have found “going away” to be the case with many involved with local government public works/construction. Included are construction project managers, public works directors, architects, engineers,estimators, inspectors, safety officials, attorneys who specialize in construction issues, construction related media services etc. In local government these professionals carry a huge responsibility. They are involved with the design and construction of all infrastructure. They perform contract administration and administer inspection and safety programs. They get intricately involved in issues related to LEED, BIM, commissioning, dispute resolution etc. I think we can all agree,these interests deserve a dedicated forum on GovLoop!

We do have excellent groups, which in the course of their focus on related or specialized subjects, overlap into some of the above issues. Transportation 2.0 is an example. ARRA is another. The new group will be careful to be complementary not competitive to the existing groups. The new group is supported by our own Pam Broviak, City Engineer/Assistant Director of Public Works for the City of Geneva, IL. Pam is one of GovLoop’s Top 100 Rockstars and is “renowned”. She also belongs to 36 groups including the groups which are the natural partners for the new group. I have asked Pam to be a co-administrator of the new group.
I have performed searches under “construction” “public works” “architect” “engineer” etc in the member search tool. Sadly most of those who signed up under those categories and are in construction services, are not currently active. Please help remedy that apparent gap in our coverage in the local government construction services area and help publicize the new group.

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Pam Broviak

I am not sure I would use renowned or rockstar to describe myself, but I am definitely interested in procurement of AEC services. And I appreciate you asking me to be part of the group! Hopefully I can add some value along the way.

Regarding your other comments about those in my specific profession not participating – I am not exactly sure why this is but it is not unexpected. Here are the only reasons that might explain this:
We are grounded in practical hands-on object oriented practices. Social and communicative components of our work are rarely if ever addressed in our education. And these issues have not until just recently been promoted as training in our profession. We also are typically the front line of complaints and even sometimes abuse by the public. This might cause us to be more cautious to opening ourselves up in conversations.

Perhaps a few spirited discussions about engineering proposals and performance and construction contracts and related issues will help encourage them to chime in.

Harold (Hal) Good, CPPO


First of all, I am so glad you are partnering on this! Thank you!

I know that the caution in opening up in public forums and conversations is common within public works departments. It appears to have been sadly too often the case, that when projects go well, others get the credit, but when there is a slight hiccup Public Works gets blamed. Of course, the dignitaries will always be the ones doing the ribbon cutting, that won’t change. Hopefully, however, we will be sharing innovative and successful practices which effectively deal with what can be changed for the positive in reality, and in improved perception and public image
As you note, “a few spirited discussions about engineering proposals and performance and construction contracts and related issues will help” (encourage dialog). The philosophy behind creating this group, is kind of “Build it and they will come.” If we do this right, what is built, will be an open and interesting exchange. We cleared the site. We are ready to help build something of value. But,this is a “design-build”. We need the help of all!