Our Chapter’s 50th Anniversary celebration is coming to a close. A big thank you goes out to Bob Patterson for a great Fall Conference and for his service as an officer and board member. A highlight of the conference was the visit by APWA National President Larry Stevens and his wife Janna. It was Larry’s first ever visit to Oregon and his opportunity to visit the Columbia River Gorge. He said they had a great time and found our chapter to be gracious and engaging.
In December, the board met at our annual Board Retreat for team building, reflection and planning the year ahead. Items on the agenda for 2015 included working on a conference siting policy to make the conference locations more consistent and accessible, continuing to develop best practices for our Chapter’s finances, education programs and updating the Chapter bylaws. The Board was joined by Brad Patterson, National’s chapter membership manager from Kansas City. He told me he came prepared with a couple of challenges for the chapter, but was pleased to find out that we were already accomplishing them.
I would also like to thank Stephanie Reid for her service as our chapter delegate, keeping us up-to-date on the happenings at National. The board welcomes Dan Boss’ return to the board as our new chapter delegate and Mike Bisset as a new director. Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your chapter president in 2014. As a board, we set a goal in 2014 to improve the chapter’s operations and ensure that our future leaders have the tools they’ll need for success. I believe we made significant progress and I look forward to continuing to assist our new President Todd Watkins moving forward. The board is a diverse group with representation from larger cities, smaller cities, transit agencies, engineering, operations and consultants, and I encourage all members to consider volunteering in the future. Enjoy the holidays! Terry Song
Oregon Chapter Elects 2014 Board
Delora Kerber, director of Public Works in Wilsonville, was tapped as the chapter’s president-elect. Continuing as secretary will be Russ Thomas, public works superintendent for the City of Newberg. Jenifer Willer, civil engineer with the City of Eugene., will serve as treasurer.
Newly elected to the board as a director was Mike Bisset, community development director for the City of McMinnville. Re-elected to two-year terms as board directors were Elizabeth Papadopoulos, facilities system manager for Tri Met, and Tony Roos, transportation principal for Cardno Inc. Dan Boss, retired operations director in Tualatin, was selected as the chapter's national delegate
Also serving on the board in 2015: Terry Song, senior project manager with WHPacific in Portland, as immediate past president; Nikki Messenger, public works director for the City of Roseburg; Paul Shirey, retired in Happy Valley, and Gordon Munro, TetraTech of Portland.
APWA Promotes Alternate Modes
Eugene holds similar car-free events. This year, the Eugene Sunday Streets program hosted two events – one in July along several downtown streets and the second in September in a residential neighborhood. Over 3,200 people came out to enjoy the city’s largest public spaces – its streets – by foot, bicycle, wheelchair, roller blades, and skateboards. Top
Two new public works scholarships will be available to Oregon college students, the Oregon APWA Scholastic Foundation Board announced Dec. 5. The addition of the Schut Scholarship and the Oregon APWA Past Presidents Scholarship brings to 12 the total number of scholarships offered annually by the chapter’s scholastic foundation.
The Don and Cathy Schut Scholarship is funded by a major donation by the Schuts. Don Schut, now retired, was community development director and city engineer for the City of McMinnville for many years. He also was a founding member of the scholastic foundation and a 2003 Bowes Award recipient. The $500 annual tribute scholarship will be awarded to a junior or senior at Oregon State University who is studying civil engineering or environmental science.
The Past Presidents Scholarship was funded through donations by a number of former chapter presidents, including Gene Appel, Hugh Kalani, Jeannie Nyquist, Gregg Weston and Kurt Corey. The scholarship, which is currently set at $1,000 a year, is intended to rotate among four-year Oregon universities with engineering programs, starting with Oregon Tech (OIT) in 2015. Past presidents are encouraged to contact the foundation to contribute so the amount of the annual scholarship can be increased.
Other tribute scholarships currently awarded by the chapter include the Lindberg Scholarship (Portland State University), the Polvi Scholarship (sustainability at OSU), the Les Lyle Scholarship (Blue Mountain Community College), and the Merle Langley Scholarship (Lane Community College). The rest of the chapter’s scholarships are funded by general donations from chapter members. At the 2014 fall conference in Pendleton, more than $10,500 was raised for scholarships through the Gizmo, basket raffle and other donations. Since 1981, 173 scholarships totaling $246,000 have been awarded by Oregon APWA. Top
by Robert Tintle
Professional development is necessary for improving our technical and soft skills and takes commitment, time and the ability to say ‘yes’. I recently said ‘yes’ and participated as a United Way Loaned Executive, representing the City of Eugene Public Works Department. The mission of United Way is to improve lives through the caring power of community and focuses on three strategic priorities: education, income and health. My role was to work with local employers to facilitate successful charitable giving campaigns to create lasting change in the lives of people in our community.
Similar to United Way, public works professionals have the passion and expertise needed to improve our communities, and to change lives through the services we provide each day. We are committed to getting things done and being that positive influence. We all play an important role in the success of our community. No one individual, group or agency can do it alone. I encourage you to be part of something greater, inside and outside of your organization. Together, we can continue to make a difference. Say ‘yes’ to professional development opportunities that come your way and be the difference.
This article sponsored by the Oregon Chapter APWA Leadership and Management Committee. For more information, click here. Robert Tintle is the Public Works Administration Director at the City of Eugene. Top
Russ Thomas, public works maintenance superintendent for the City of Newberg and a long-time and active member of APWA, received the 2014 William A. Bowes Award at the fall conference in Pendleton on October 16.
One of his strongest supporters, Russ’s wife Mary shared the following upon learning of Russ’s selection: "He is definitely an organizer, coach, public servant, volunteer and all-around good husband, father and grandfather. He has a strong sense of giving back by all the volunteer time he has given over the years!"
“I am honored to have been selected to be included in the company of the past recipients of the William A. Bowes Award, Thomas said.” I hope to continue to live up to the high standards they have all set in their service to the members of the Oregon Chapter of the American Public Works Association, and to the greater public works community that we all serve throughout the state of Oregon.”
Russ joined the Navy shortly after high school and served with the Pacific Fleet for 4-1/2 years. After the Navy he spent a year as a laborer in a shipyard followed by a year as a real estate professional. Then he found his home for the next 35 years in the Newberg Public Works Department.
"As the public works maintenance superintendent for the City of Newberg, he and his crews pretty much do it all – maintenance and operation of streets, storm drainage, public facilities including grounds, wastewater collection and water distribution systems for a City of over 22,000 residents," said 2013 Bowes recipient Mark Schoening, who presented the award to Thomas. "On call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year."
Russ has been active in Oregon APWA for over 18 years and currently serves on the Board of Directors as the Chapter secretary. He has been actively involved in the Chapter’s education program for many years and regularly teaches at the short schools. He has chaired numerous conference committees and organized countless golf tournaments. And he has used the golf tournaments as a successful platform to raise money for the Gizmo and ultimately the scholastic foundation.
He is probably most famously known for his role in the semiannual nomination and election of the recipient of the Gizmo. He won this award himself in fall 2008. At the time it was the tradition that the current holder of the Gizmo serve as the master of ceremonies and lead the campaign at the following conference. He took on this assignment with enthusiasm and gusto and with such success that he has held onto that role ever since.
The William A. Bowes Award is the highest award given by the Oregon Chapter of APWA. It bears the names of distinguished Oregon public works professionals, one for each year since the inception of the award in 1978. Top
On November 6, Judy Smith, the city administrator for Sodaville put out a plea for assistance on the Oregon City Manager Listserve. Their small city was devastated by a burglary in October that wiped out the two-room City Hall/Public Works building. They stole everything from laptops, petty cash, tape measures, tools, even rain gear and coffee mugs! For this small city it is a big hit and she wanted to know if any other city could donate surplus property to help them get operational.
At the Oregon Chapter board meeting on December 3, 2014, the City of Sodaville’s situation was brought before the board by the Chapter Secretary, Russ Thomas. As of December 3 only very minimal response had been received - a loaned laptop and printer, along with a shovel and rake. The Oregon Chapter Board of Directors voted to provide assistance to the City of Sodaville, providing a check for $2,587 on behalf of the Chapter, to be used by them for prioritizing and purchasing the necessary tools and equipment to assist them in being able to return to operational levels. The check also included the cost of annual membership in the Oregon Chapter of the American Public Works Association.
Additionally, the list of items lost to the burglary was presented to the board members, with a request to present it to Chapter members requesting any assistance they may be able to render to help replace the items lost. The City of Newberg has committed some items from their surplus.
Russ Thomas will be presenting the check to the Sodaville City Administrator on behalf of the Oregon Chapter, along with the donated items from the City of Newberg.
By Jenifer Willer, City of Eugene
In 2009, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) launched an initiative called “Every Day Counts” (EDC) to promote and encourage the use of technological innovations and enhanced business processes in transportation. Every two years, a new round of initiatives are promoted by FHWA, and we are entering the third round of EDC (EDC-3) in 2015. For EDC-3, FHWA held Summits around the country and invited regional partners to attend. Oregon was invited to Sacramento in October and the Oregon contingency included representatives from the Oregon Division of FHWA, the Oregon Department of Transportation and me, representing the Oregon Chapter of APWA. In the past, Troy Bowers from Murray, Smith & Associates attended as the ACEC representative and Jon Oshel as the AOC representative as well.
What struck me at the summit was how many of these topics we are already working on in Oregon which is an example of how innovative we are as a state. It also struck me how many of these items or related items have been topics at previous chapter conferences. One of the messages that resonated with me was that as Public Works folks, we tend to keep our noses down and do our jobs with little fan fair, but in times of having to compete for funding, it is important to highlight our successes and that our programs are worth the investment. This is one of the important aspects of the Every Day Counts initiative, not just spreading the word about these innovations, but also providing a national platform for all the good works we are doing.
The Standard Specifications Committee in partnership with ODOT completed several multi-year projects this year. First, the new Standard Specifications Manual was published and made available in July. This updated version of the Oregon Standard Specifications is Joint APWA/ODOT manual and serves as the Standard Specifications for both organizations. The new manual is labeled the 2015 Oregon Standard Specifications to match the year ODOT and others will likely start using it. You won’t have any trouble distinguishing this manual from earlier versions either. For the first time, the manual has photos and a patterned graphical design on the cover instead of the usual solid color. It’s also considerably thicker than the previous two editions. Part of this is that there are some new spec sections and some of the sections have been expanded, and part of the reason is because the General Conditions (100’s) have been folded back into the main document and bound together with the technical specs instead of being a stand-alone manual as it was when published in 2008. Many thanks to ODOT and the dozens of people from cities, counties, consultants and contractors who made this new manual possible.
To order, view or download a pdf version of the new manual go to http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/SPECS/Pages/2015_Standard_Specifications.aspx .
Speaking of General Conditions, the second big initiative wrapped up this year by the Spec Committee was completion of the Local Agency Section 100 General Conditions. This was a three-year project involving representatives from cities and counties and ODOT to modify the Section 100 General Conditions for local agency use. Although it was specifically prepared for certified local agencies constructing FHWA funded projects, it is easily and quickly adaptable for use by any local agency for everyday infrastructure projects. Non-certified agencies will still need to use the 100’s out of the regular manual, however. At the current time, a link to the new Section 100 for Local Agencies document is on the Standard Specifications webpage, and can also be found at http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/LGS/Pages/Certification.aspx in both Word and pdf versions. You will also need to download the “Local Agency MFTP (2014)” as the two are companion documents—the MFTP lays out the quality standards and test methods for use by the Contractors and Agencies who are involved with a project that uses the Standard Specifications. Both the new Section 100 for Local Agencies and the Local Agency MFTP are good documents. Give them a try.
The third project completed by the Spec Committee was a complete update to the water main standard specifications and drawings. This was an important project, as the 2015 update to the Standard Specifications did not include an update to the sections related to water mains and associated facilities. These specifications and drawings are currently under final review at ODOT and the specifications will be available as Boilerplate Special Provisions at the ODOT Specs webpage around the first of the year. Top
2014 has been a terrific year for APWA Education; by December 31 we will have educated more than 550 students in classes ranging from Street Maintenance & Collection Systems; Preventive Maintenance for Roadway Surfaces and the three Public Works Institute Classes; Public Works Essentials, The Developing Leader and Public Works Leadership. Education is a top priority for the Oregon Chapter of APWA and the board is considering some additional offerings for 2015.
Have you looked at the training tab on the NEW APWA website yet? Click on Oregon.APWA.net and then EVENTS, then Training. Or – just click this link, bookmark it for future use and check out some terrific new improvements: http://oregon.apwa.net/MenuHomepage/711/Training
Once you are on the training page you will be able to see all the classes available for the entire year. If a class or school has a brochure or is open for registration, there will be a hyperlink when you hover over the class title directing you to all the options available for the class.
A quick overview of the class will be on the first page, then two sections titled Description and Downloads. Under Description will be just that, a short description of the class and if the class is open for registration, you will see Register On-Line Here, which is a hyperlink that will take you to the registration page. Registration will be the same familiar format allowing you to register one or many for a class, and will also allow you to make payment with one or several forms of payment options. The Downloads section of the page will be where you find printable documents such as class brochures, menus, or in the case of conferences; additional information for technical session descriptions, lodging options and more.
It won’t take you long to familiarize yourself with this user-friendly site so check it out, send the link to co-workers so they too can check back to the training page often to see what APWA has for education in 2015!
For more information on Education Programs or Scholarships for Education Programs, visit the Education website or contact us at 541-994-3201 or 541-992-3482. Top
The Oregon Chapter is a sponsor of the 2015 Green Transportation Summit and Expo, being put on by the Linn-Benton Community College’s Advanced Transportation Technology Center on April 21-22, 2015 at the Portland Expo Center. This Expo focusing on alternative fueled vehicles will feature manufacturers and vendors of fleet vehicles and equipment, presentations by experts in the industry, as well as companies and organizations that are currently using alternative fueled vehicles in their fleets. This summit will provide fleet solutions utilizing compressed natural gas(CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG, propane autogas, biofuels, hydrogen and electric/hybrid vehicles. There will be also be a Performance Ride and Drive event, which will take place at the adjacent Portland International Raceway. The closed course will allow attendees to get behind the wheel of the various Alternative –fuel vehicles and go through the gears.
The Oregon Chapter members that have Alternative Powered vehicles that they would like to display at the summit, or who may be interested providing a presentation of information on their alternate fueled vehicle fleet success are urged to contact chapter secretary Russ Thomas, firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.
Members of the Oregon Chapter should use the following discount code; APWAOR, when registering to obtain a special discounted registration rate. For more information on the Summit and Expo, please visit the website at http://gtsummitexpo.com. Top