AMERICAN PUBLIC WORKS ASSOCIATION • SEPTEMBER 2008 • www.apwa.net
Noel Thompson takes the helm of APWA
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September 2008 Vol. 75, No. 9 The APWA Reporter, the official magazine of the American Public Works Association, covers all facets of public works for APWA members including industry news, legislative actions, management issues and emerging technologies.
FLEET SERVICES ISSUE
I N S I D E
A P W A
Remembering Jim Martin
Board of Directors election results
Technical Committee News
Middle school students to explore public works with APWA’s new 6th-8th grade curriculum
APWA Book Review
Chapter Membership Achievement Award winners announced
Inclusivity: A uniquely American concept
APWA staffer honored for her tenure
New APWA staff
C O L U M N S
Recipes for Success
International Idea Exchange
F E A T U R E S
Is the price of fuel getting you down? Here are 37 ways to control fuel costs
How to develop vehicle equipment specifications
Hybrid trash truck to hit Denver’s streets
Academies nurture best and brightest in science and math
Cooperative Purchasing Agreement Benefits
Small buses finding bigger role in public and private fleets
W O R K Z O N E
WorkZone: Your Connection to Public Works Careers
M A R K E T P L A C E
Products in the News
C A L E N D A R
43 Cover photo by Patrick L. Pfister of Pfoto.com, Louisville, KY
World of Public Works Calendar
Index of Advertisers
The ideal organization to take on challenges Noel Thompson APWA President Editor’s Note: As has been the custom in the past, each new APWA President is interviewed by the APWA Reporter at the beginning of each presidential term. In this manner, presidential plans are laid out, hopes revealed and observations noted. First, some background on President Noel Thompson, who has had a 33-year career in public service. Thompson spent 22 years in public works with the City of Louisville Public Works Department and its successor agency, Metro Louisville Public Works, from which he retired in May 2003 as Executive Administrator. Prior to his tenure with Louisville’s Public Works Department, he was the Executive Assistant Director of the Louisville & Jefferson County Metropolitan Parks and Recreation Board. In his current role with Thompson Resources, he provides event planning, special project coordination and executive services on a consultancy basis. Thompson has been very active in APWA at both the chapter and national levels. He has held all of the elective officer positions of the Kentucky Chapter and its Central Branch, and served as the Chapter Delegate for five years. On the national scene, he co-chaired the Congress Host Committee (200001), chaired the Congress Program Review Committee (2001-02) and the Blueprint Task Force for Certification and Education (2007), and has been a member of the International Affairs Committee (2002-04) and the Finance Committee (2005-06). Thompson has been a member of the Board of Directors for four years, serving as Director of Region III (2004-07) and PresidentElect (2007-08).
How did you get involved in public works? Well, it was a circuitous course, but it started early on for a couple of summers just out of high school. I worked with the Jefferson County Public Works Department and what was at that time called the Jefferson County Playground and Recreation Board. I worked with crews building parks and golf courses. It was a good experience and put me in a lot of varied roles, with a level of responsibility I’d never had before. About midway through college I decided that I wanted a career in government and an internship in public administration on the state level, so I had a curriculum emphasis in public administration in college. After graduating I went to work for the Louisville Metropolitan Parks Department. The Parks Department was like running a city. It had most of the elements of a public works department. I advanced pretty rapidly, and maintaining the parks and running special events gave me a strong public works background. I became the Assistant Director at the age of twenty-five, so I guess I was a pretty fresh guy and probably not nearly as smart as I thought I was. I then went to work for an HVAC company for several years. I enjoyed the work but not as much as I had in the public sector, so I looked for opportunities in government and found my way back working as a policy advisor to elected officials in local and state government. That had its challenges and rewards, but I preferred working on the local level in administrative roles. So I started searching again for opportunities
Official Magazine of the American Public Works Association PUBLISHER American Public Works Association 2345 Grand Blvd., Suite #700 Kansas City, MO 64108-2625 (800) 848-APWA (Member Services Hotline) (816) 472-6100 (Kansas City metro area) FAX (816) 472-1610 e-mail: email@example.com Website: www.apwa.net EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Peter B. King EDITOR R. Kevin Clark GRAPHIC DESIGNER Julie Smith ADVERTISING SALES Amanda Daniel R. Kevin Clark Erin Ladd Kansas City Liaison Jennifer Wirz (800) 848-APWA (800) 800-0341 APWA WASHINGTON OFFICE 1401 K. Street NW, 11th floor Washington, D.C. 20005 (202) 408-9541 FAX (202) 408-9542 Disclaimer: The American Public Works Association assumes no responsibility for statements and/or opinions advanced by either editorial or advertising contributors to this issue. APWA reserves the right to refuse to publish and to edit manuscripts to conform to the APWA Reporter standards. Publisher’s Notice: The APWA Reporter, September 2008, Vol. 75, No. 9 (ISSN 0092-4873; Publications Agreement No. 40040340). The APWA Reporter is published monthly by the American Public Works Association, 2345 Grand Boulevard, Suite 700, Kansas City, MO 64108-2625. Subscription rate is $155 for nonmembers and $25 for chapter-sponsored students. Periodicals postage paid at Kansas City, MO and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the APWA Reporter, 2345 Grand Boulevard, #700, Kansas City, MO 64108-2625. Canada returns to: Station A, P.O. Box 54, Windsor, ON N9A 6J5. Reprints and Permissions: Information is available at www.apwa.net/Publications/Reporter/guidelines.asp. © 2008 by American Public Works Association Address Change? To alert us of a change to your membership record, contact an APWA Membership Specialist at (800) 848-APWA or firstname.lastname@example.org. The APWA Reporter is printed by Harmony Printing & Development Co., Liberty, MO.
and luckily an opening for a planner became available in the engineering division at Louisville’s Public Works Department. I got the job and moved to other roles within the department quickly, but that was really my start. I was there for twenty-two years until I retired as the Executive Administrator a few years ago. What are some of your major accomplishments? I’d like to say that any success I’ve had was part of a collaborative effort, and that includes, most importantly, my marriage to Sue and having a big-league family including two daughters, Laura and Kelly, and a son, Paul. They’re all doing well in their own right. We have a seventh grandchild, Grace, due tomorrow [July 24]. Our family does a lot of things together. My son-in-law and I ran a construction business for several years,
along with a brother-in-law of mine, and there were other family members who were employed in the business. We spun that off to my brother-in-law and it’s still operating.
fleet operation, which was a major issue at the time because the operation had really become a nightmarish embarrassment to the City. So I took the opportunity to work with people and modernize that department, and I can say that it’s operating well and has come a long ways over the years.
I guess the big thing we have is what we call Hogtoberfest, which we hold every year for our extended family and friends, and by the way, all APWA members are invited to it. This year it’s going to be held on September 27 at Stone Ledge in LaGrange, Kentucky. Anyway, that’s something that we do and we have a big time with that every year.
Another accomplishment is leading the City’s involvement in developing a community Geographic Information System, or GIS, which is known as LOJIC. Developing that system and the broad-based consortium that directs it was a huge effort and made enormous changes in the way the City and other agencies conducted their business. It has contributed to the improved efficiency of every unit of local government, and it’s been the backbone instrument for government operations. Local government became spatially ori-
Work-wise, and again I want to emphasize working collaboratively, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in many ventures that I think accomplished a number of things. One of the big things early on in the Public Works Department was revamping the City’s
Diversity Awareness Corner
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– Michael J. Critelli, Executive Chairman, Pitney Bowes, Inc.
AMERICAN PUBLIC WORKS ASSOCIATION
Mission Statement: The American Public Works Association serves its members by promoting professional excellence and public awareness through education, advocacy and the exchange of knowledge. BOARD OF DIRECTORS PRESIDENT Noel C. Thompson Consultant Thompson Resources Louisville, KY PRESIDENT-ELECT Larry T. Koehle, P.Eng. Vice President, Infrastructure ASI Technologies, Inc. Brampton, ON PAST PRESIDENT Larry W. Frevert, P.E. National Program Director/ Public Works HDR Engineering, Inc. Kansas City, MO DIRECTOR, REGION I Jean-Guy Courtemanche Vice President Le Group Courtemanche, Inc. Repentigny, QC DIRECTOR, REGION II Ed Gottko, P.E. Town Administrator (retired) Town of Westfield, NJ DIRECTOR, REGION III Elizabeth Treadway Vice President AMEC Earth & Environmental Greensboro, NC
ADVISORY COUNCIL DIRECTOR, REGION IV Shelby P. LaSalle, Jr. Chairman and CEO Krebs, LaSalle, LeMieux Consultants, Inc. Metairie, LA DIRECTOR, REGION V David L. Lawry, P.E. General Services Director City of Elgin, IL DIRECTOR, REGION VI Larry Stevens, P.E. SUDAS Director Iowa State University Ames, IA DIRECTOR, REGION VII Jimmy B. Foster, P.E. Director of Public Works City of Plano, TX DIRECTOR, REGION VIII Ann Burnett-Troisi Governmental Liaison for Pacific Bell (retired) San Diego, CA DIRECTOR, REGION IX Doug Drever Manager of Strategic Services City of Saskatoon, SK
DIRECTOR-AT-LARGE, ENGINEERING & TECHNOLOGY Patty Hilderbrand, P.E. Program Management & Development Manager City of Kansas City, MO
(Past APWA Presidents) Larry W. Frevert, Chair Robert Albee
Erwin F. Hensch
Richard L. Ridings
Roger K. Brown
Robert S. Hopson
John J. Roark
DIRECTOR-AT-LARGE, ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT George R. Crombie Secretary of Natural Resources State of Vermont Waterbury, VT
Myron D. Calkins
Ronald W. Jensen
Harold E. Smith
Joseph F. Casazza
June Rosentreter Spence
Nick W. Diakiw
Martin J. Manning
Robert C. Esterbrooks
James J. McDonough
William A. Verkest
DIRECTOR-AT-LARGE, FLEET & FACILITIES MANAGEMENT Ken A. Nerland Director, General Services Dept. City of Fresno, CA
Jerry M. Fay
Lambert C. Mims
Carl D. Wills
Herbert A. Goetsch
Judith M. Mueller
J. Geoffrey Greenough
Ronald L. Norris
Michael R. Pender
DIRECTOR-AT-LARGE, PUBLIC WORKS MGMT./LEADERSHIP Diane Linderman, P.E. Director, Urban Infrastructure and Development Services VHB, Inc. Richmond, VA
Executive Director Peter B. King
DIRECTOR-AT-LARGE, TRANSPORTATION Susan M. Hann, P.E., AICP, ICMA-CM Deputy City Manager City of Palm Bay, FL
Editorial Advisory Board Myron D. Calkins
Neil S. Grigg
Stephen J. O Neill
Gordon R. Garner
Susan M. Hann
Kyle E. Schilling
Executive Director Emeritus Robert D. Bugher
ented without even realizing it, and LOJIC became nationally recognized as a model of local institutional cooperation. LOJIC spawned another great system called MIDAS, which stands for Metropolitan Information Development and Asset System. It enables a truly multiple entry point, onestop-shopping for all locally-issued permits and, of course, it tracks those as well. The great thing about these information systems is that they just get better and more accurate the more they are used because of the continuous updating that occurs when using the systems. Every agency has benefited from these projects. I didn’t know that they were going to be projects that would last my entire career, but they were. Another thing that we did was modernize the City’s right-ofway function. We assembled a number of then-standalone functions and integrated them into a single, cohesive unit. The big benefit was to the citizens in that they could get all their right-of-way issues addressed by talking to people in one section of the department. They didn’t get bounced around as many people have over the years in dealing with local government. One thing that I really enjoyed working on was the planning and implementing of a city street tree plan. It gave our city a different look and it was part of the City’s early efforts to become responsive to the environment. It’s still going
Distinctive Strengths. United Goals.
on and it’s part of a larger effort to make our community a more livable one, which by the way Louisville was voted the number-one livable city in the country by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Another significant accomplishment for me was going through the Kentucky Chapter officer positions. That provided me with the training and background to assume larger roles, and I was able to meet some outstanding individuals who provided me with some mentoring through APWA. Tell us more about Thompson Resources. Well, I am Thompson Resources [laughs]. Thompson Resources is an operation that assists a Kentucky-based multi-state consultancy that helps small agencies and communities fund their infrastructure and environmental improvements. I also provide meeting and event management to several organizations, which is a skill I picked up in APWA and on the job over the years. What do you hope to accomplish during your presidential term? Certainly the ten goals I provided to the Board of Directors are the things that I would like to accomplish [see President Thompson’s 2008-09 Priorities on page 7 – Ed]. But two things really stand out to me, and number one is chapter capacity building. That is a continuing goal. [Past President] Bill Verkest started that and [Immediate Past President] Larry Frevert continued it, and I think it is the most significant thing that we can do. If the chapters continue to improve their ability to deliver services, then APWA will continue to be successful. The other thing that will probably be the most talked-about goal for the coming year will be delineating APWA’s role as an international leader in environmental sustainability. I think it is a necessary and fundamental step to coherently activate our organization in the issues that are going to dominate the globe well into at least the Twenty-second Century.
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Is there any area of public works in which APWA should become more involved? Yes, certainly. Becoming more engaged in advocacy would be a positive measure. We’re doing well and we are improving in that area, and we’re building a base to improve and involve ourselves more. It isn’t necessary to go to Washington or even to the state capitol to be effective. But by getting the attention of your congressional leaders and local legislators and doing that on a consistent basis, you will become the person that they rely on as the expert when it comes to being the information choice for infrastructure, the environment, and first responder issues. If we do that we will certainly have achieved a great deal. The other thing is that we are becoming involved in sustainability. That’s a broad area, often controversial, but we know that there are changes impacting us and things that public works people have a responsibility to respond to. APWA is the ideal organization to take on challenges such as climate
change, air quality, water quality, waste management, resource management, infrastructure and transportation because we are the one association that is broad-based enough and most reflective of real-life situations. We cannot address sustainability by just working in one area. We must take an integrated approach, which we do in APWA. Who have been your mentors and who inspires you? Well, I have had many mentors. This was a question that I asked of the people who attended the president-elect meeting. I asked, “Who is your hero?” I wanted to get an idea of who they were inspired by and then they could share their thoughts with one another, kind of a bonding technique. Most of them said that their parents were the ones who provided them with their inspiration and their mentoring. But someone pointed out that we all mature in our ideas about who our heroes and our inspirations and mentors are. Like many of the public works leaders in the meeting last Friday, I’d have to list family as number one. I’ve got a large and remarkable, giving family who over the years sacrificed a lot for each other. They provided me and others with sound grounding and a real sense of responsibility. All of my family members have inspired me and given me insights. But a number of people who were coworkers, teachers, coaches and community leaders have all mentored me in some way. A number of them have passed on, but I still draw from the lessons that they shared with me years ago. What motivates you each day? Well, I have a sense of purpose, and that is to be of service to my fellows while I’m on Earth, and specifically to be a steward of our resources. I want to be sure we have a planet fit for humans for generations to come. You’ve been very active in APWA at both the national and chapter levels. What are some of the highlights of your involvement with APWA? There have been a number of things that were outstanding, and they’re too numerous to list. But the most memorable to date would be hosting the Congress in 2000, which was both a national and chapter achievement. We had a wonderful bunch of volunteers both within and outside APWA, and an outstanding staff working to make it the Best Show in Public Works, which the show is today. Being the Kentucky Chapter Delegate was exciting, and I was able to help enlarge the chapter’s perspective. Last year I chaired the Blueprint Task Force for Certification and Education that sought to provide coherence in moving those programs forward, which is necessary and fundamental to our organization’s future. Visiting chapters, making Top Ten [Public Works Leaders of the Year] presentations and awarding accreditations to departments have been personally fulfilling this past year because I got to recognize great accomplishments. It is an honor to do and it is a humbling experience. How do you intend to accomplish all of your goals without being overwhelmed? Just like I always have,
through collaboration. Through collaboration we’ll accomplish great things. There’s no way that I, as an individual, can accomplish those ten goals by myself. Fortunately, we have a great motivated APWA membership that wants to accomplish important things. With the collective will and the talent at all levels, we will accomplish our goals. Again, I’m fortunate to have my wife’s support to be part of this. What is the greatest benefit you see in being a member of APWA? Well, APWA supports the membership by providing opportunities of expression and development. By that I mean they help individuals and groups become the best public works professionals they can be. Nobody does it better. APWA is the place to be if you want to bond and network with fellow professionals, if you want to be mentored, if you want to improve yourself, or if you want to do something important. What more could you ask for in a professional organization?
President Thompson’s 2008-09 Priorities: 1. Continue the emphasis on Chapter Capacity Building. 2. Continue to build educational opportunities at all levels of the Association. 3. Continue to provide for the financial foundation of APWA through sound fiscal management policies while seeking expanded member services. 4. Continue and expand credentialing programs. 5. Work with other organizations and education systems to promote public works as a profession of choice for students and young people entering the workforce. 6. Help our members expand their perception of what is public works. 7. Provide our members with the tools to become more effective advocates for public works. 8. Appraise and where appropriate strengthen or build strategic alliances with kindred organizations for the potential to expand and improve mutual organizational opportunities in specific areas. 9. Emphasize our stewardship responsibility at all levels of the Association by defining and developing the APWA leadership role in environmental and sustainability issues. 10. Continue to build APWA’s prominence, value and excellence by convening a Strategic Planning Session in the summer of 2009. September 2008
Remembering Jim Martin Connie Hartline Publications Manager American Public Works Association Kansas City, Missouri he July 9th news that James L. Martin (APWA President in 1982-83) had died of natural causes at his home in Fresno, California, left many people in public works and throughout APWA struggling to put words to their feelings. Although the 81-year-old retired his position as director of public works in Fresno more than 20 years ago, “retired” could never describe Jim Martin. Out of an unparalleled scope of interests and a passion for public works, Jim served as secretary of the Central California Chapter for more than a de-
cade before his death and worked on countless committees and task forces on a national level. He also was instrumental in developing not only APWA’s emergency management program, but also the original public works component of FEMA training courses. Jim’s life made a difference to others, to the public works profession, and to this association. “Jim was an icon in the public works profession, a tireless volunteer for APWA during his career and, in retirement, was one of a few that was awarded Honorary Membership in both
BOARD OF DIRECTORS ELECTION RESULTS The 2008 Board of Directors election closed July 27, 2008 at midnight. On July 30, Steve Schmidt of the Kansas City Metro Chapter, serving as Head Teller, verified the results. A total of 739 ballots were cast. As of July 30, there were 29,464 current members of APWA. Regional Directors are elected by members voting in their specific region. The membership of each region varies in number.
tation: 705 votes; Write-ins Aggregated: 19 votes •
Jean-Guy Courtemanche, Director of Region I: 22 votes; Write-ins Aggregated: 0 votes
Elizabeth Treadway, Director of Region III: 66 votes; Write-ins Aggregated: 6 votes
Jimmy B. Foster, P.E., Director of Region VII: 114 votes; Writeins Aggregated: 3 votes
David Lawry, P.E., was appointed to the Board of Directors as the Director of Region V. His appointment filled the unexpired term of Larry Koehle, who assumed the position of President-Elect during the APWA Congress & Exposition in New Orleans.
Election results are as follows:
Larry Koehle, P.Eng., President-Elect: 707 votes; Write-ins Aggregated: 9 votes
Kenneth A. Nerland, Director-at-Large, Fleet and Facilities: 704 votes; Write-ins Aggregated: 3 votes
Susan Hann, P.E., AICP, ICMACM, Director-at-Large, Transpor-
Jim proudly used this cartoon on all of his correspondence. It was drawn by one of his staff, Donald DeVere, for use on the program at Jim’s Top Ten ceremony in 1972.
APWA and ASCE and, by all accounts was a ‘one of a kind’ person,” said APWA Executive Director Peter King. Jim produced a prodigious body of articles and nine books published by APWA. Most notably, he was the author of two editions of the Red Book, the industry standard on qualitybased selection of engineers, architects and consultants. His work also is the basis for the current, third edition of the book. “He was a first-class guy, my good friend,” said colleague and former APWA Board of Directors member Larry Lux, “honest to a fault, a great leader, a loved confidant and mentor. I will surely miss him and his direct, down-to-earth view on our profession and life itself.”
APWA Executive Director Emeritus Robert D. Bugher expressed his “great admiration and respect for Jim” for his many leadership qualities. He also suggested that the dissemination of Jim’s inspiring oral history, which was published by APWA in 2006, would “help to attract some of the high-quality talent to this profession that will assure its success for many years to come.” Besides being an engineer, Jim’s passion for history caused him to work steadfastly through the Public Works Historical Society (PWHS) to forge a useful partnership between practitioners and historians. Todd Shallat, professor of history at Boise State University, said of his former master’s advisor onsite, Jim “taught me professionalism. To be a professional, I learned, was to cherish a deeply historical sense of mission and purpose. Jim saw historical awareness as a pillar of his own professionalism…and engineers as stewards of municipal progress…He remains a giant in my life.” Jim served on the PWHS Board of Trustees from 1985 to 1999 and was Society President in 1991-92. Those sentiments were echoed by Jim’s friend, Marty Melosi, renowned public works scholar and historian at the University of Houston. “Through our work with PWHS, we were able to bridge the gap between public works professional and public works historian. We found so much in common in our love for history and our fascination with the world of public works, that our annual meetings of the PWHS board were much-anticipated events. I’ll never forget Jim’s thorough professionalism, his tenacious efforts to preserve the historical record, and his infectious laugh. I learned so much from him.” The Public Works Historical Society is working to honor Jim by establishing a memorial fund in his name to underwrite an oral history series. Details will be available in an upcoming issue of the Reporter. Connie Hartline can be reached at (816) 595-5258 or email@example.com
2008 American Public Works Association International
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DHS launches Target Capabilities Implementation Project Laura M. Berkey Government Affairs Manager American Public Works Association Washington, D.C. he Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is well underway with an initiative to revise and restructure the Target Capabilities List (TCL), a vital component of the national all-hazards framework. FEMA defines the TCL as a “national-level, generic model of operationally ready capabilities defining all-hazards preparedness.” In short, the TCL serves as a reference document for jurisdictions to assess the possibility of and prepare for catastrophic natural disasters or human-made hazards. However, this common approach to emergency preparedness seems to be incompatible to a “one size fits all” method. After the TCL v2.0 was released in September 2007, states and local governments raised concerns about the TCL. Stakeholders considered the document to be overwhelmingly large and thus, too difficult to navigate. States and localities became burdened with the number of reporting requirements, and as such it became apparent that communities needed clear, quantifiable guidance that establishes key priorities and creates a useful definition of preparedness. While the current TCL provides overarching activities and tasks needed to achieve national preparedness, it does not distinguish what a large city needs to accomplish from that of a rural town. Based on the need for community-specific emergency preparedness, the current focus of the TCL Implementation Project is to develop a series of Target Capability Frameworks to help states and local jurisdictions determine whether they need a given capability to be prepared, and if so, at what level. The Target Capability Frameworks will build upon the preparedness guidance found in TCL v2.0 to define who must do what for each capability. Moreover, there is a need to reduce the administrative reporting burden on states and local jurisdictions. In order to provide a more user-friendly emergency preparedness assessment, DHS/FEMA is breaking down TCL v2.0 into a capability framework comprised of three charts that defines Performance Classes, Performance Objectives, and Resource Requirements. According to DHS, “performance classes will group jurisdictions in ‘classes’ based on factors including population, population density, proximity to critical infrastructure, and key resources” needed to recover from a catastrophic event. “Performance classes, and consequently risk factors, will 10
be different for each capability. Performance objectives are linked to each performance class and define how much of a capability is needed. These objectives identify the critical steps that jurisdictions must accomplish for each capability in order to ensure success, though the performance level may vary for different performance classes. It is important to note that jurisdictions will determine for themselves the best approach to preparing for and recovering from catastrophic events. And finally, resource requirements will indicate what jurisdictions must have access to such as personnel teams, training, and equipment.” DHS/FEMA believes that states and localities will benefit from Target Capability Frameworks by “providing jurisdictions with a clearer picture of their preparedness for catastrophic events, a more objective assessment of their shortfalls, and a clearer understanding of what their priorities should be to address the gaps.” It is thought that Target Capability Frameworks will empower jurisdictions to make sound policy decisions based on recognition of the planning, personnel, training, equipment, and exercise activities needed to achieve preparedness. The TCL Implementation Project Team disclosed that the TCL revision will take approximately three years to complete. Beginning in 2008, DHS/FEMA is working with stakeholders to finalize six frameworks: Animal Health, Emergency Operations Center Management, Intelligence, On-Site Incident Command, Mass Transit Protection, and WMD/ HazMat Rescue and Decontamination. Over the next three years, a series of Technical Working Group (TWG) sessions are being held across the United States in FEMA regional locations. All sessions are comprised of subject matter experts, practitioners, and national associations in the emergency management and homeland security communities to ensure collaboration across the federal, state and local levels. Once TWG sessions are complete, a National Review will be conducted to enable the larger homeland security community to review the Target Capability Frameworks and provide input before a proposed national release. Additional frameworks will be developed in 2009 and 2010, culminating in TCL v3.0 which is estimated to be released in September 2010. Laura Berkey is the Government Affairs Manager and the legislative liaison to the Emergency Management Technical Committee. Contact Laura for additional information at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 218-6734.
Fleet Services Committee’s Open Forum offers suggestions for recruiting fleet mechanics Teresa Hon Technical Services Program Manager American Public Works Association Kansas City, Missouri ach year during Congress the APWA Fleet Services Committee hosts an Open Forum enabling members to share their concerns and questions with other fleet professionals. One topic which generated a great deal of discussion was recruiting and retaining fleet technicians. As the workforce ages and Baby Boomers are retiring, locating qualified employees is an ever-pressing concern. Following is a summary of recruitment initiatives participants shared with those in attendance at the 2007 Open Forum. •
Recruiting video – Take the time to develop a video or PowerPoint™ presentation that can be shared with potential employees.
Benefits – Accentuate the positive if your agency provides paid training, health insurance, dental benefits, matching retirement contributions, etc.
Good working space – If your shop is air-conditioned or you have lifts for vehicles, emphasize the benefits of the work environment.
Get the next generation interested in the trade – Participate in school career day events, drive equipment in community parades.
Serve as advisor to vo-tech and high school programs – You’ll be able to identify potential employees plus observe how they interact and respond to situations.
Open House – An open house serves several purposes: -- provides an opportunity for taxpayers to see where their money is being spent
Friends of current technicians – Ask current employees for recommendations of friends for employment.
Senior centers – Post a note in the common area asking who does their work.
Networking – Go to regional fleet maintenance council or other professional meetings.
Electronic ads – More and more people in the workforce are comfortable with computers. Take advantage of that ability by advertising on websites that accept job ads.
Skills USA – This national nonprofit organization (formerly known as VICA) serves teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations. Check with local school districts to see if they support this program.
Job fairs – Don’t underestimate the value of participating in local and regional job fairs.
Identify people who are leaving the armed services – If you have a military installation located near your agency, make a point of identifying a contact person who can provide guidance on contacting former military personnel.
Scholarship – Consider a scholarship for heavy equipment mechanic to help pay cost of junior college/vocational training.
Summer Youth Program
Retention of current employees is also an important ingredient in managing your workforce. You don’t want to spend time training an employee only to have that person leave for the private sector. Emphasize the benefits offered by your agency as well as positive aspects of the work environment (air-conditioned shop, lifts for vehicles).
Internship program for high school students – Identify special projects where high school students could be utilized for short-term employment.
If you have used innovative ideas for recruiting and retaining employees, feel free to share them with us. We’ll pass along anything new we receive.
Seasonal workers – Interact with seasonal workers of other departments to identify interest in full-time employment.
Teresa Hon can be reached at (816) 595-5224 or email@example.com.
-- gives potential employees an opportunity to check out the work environment -- exposes children of those attending to public works
Middle school students to explore public works with APWA’s new 6th-8th grade curriculum Brittany Barr Marketing Intern American Public Works Association Kansas City, Missouri n the course of an ordinary day, middle school students encounter public works in countless ways. They head to school in buses and cars on streets planned by civil engineers, passing traffic lights managed by traffic control engineers. Their school building was designed by engineers and built by construction workers. Their cafeteria waste and discarded notebook paper is processed by solid waste and recyclable materials collectors. Any bathroom breaks or drinks from the water fountain are supplied by the community’s water facility. After school, they might participate on sports teams that practice on public fields, which are maintained by parks and recreation staff. Still, despite the influence that public works has in the lives of these students, many of them have never heard of the field, let alone realized its significance. As the field of public works changes, the need to educate our youth about the discipline has grown apparent. In order for this field to have a future—and, in turn, for communities to be properly maintained—there must be civic support for and understanding of public works, as well as a young base of upcoming public workers.
running a community. It also explores a variety of public works careers. Most importantly, this educational outreach curriculum packs in information while remaining student- and userfriendly. It consists of four components: an Instructor’s Guide and CD-ROM that contain detailed lesson plans—full of teaching tips, mini-lecture outlines and inventive activities; a seven-chapter Student Almanac with an eye-catching, engaging format; and an entertaining companion novel, Mystery of the Night Vandals, which will help you creatively engage, instruct and connect young people to public works.
Spotlight on the Instructor’s Guide Whether you’re a busy public works professional called to make a presentation or a middle school teacher looking to educate your students on public works or career options, this curriculum fits your every need. No extra research is required with this Instructor’s Guide—the lessons provide a “script” that can be followed verbatim, or used as an outline for your presentation! Each chapter of the Instructor’s Guide corresponds with a chapter of the Student Almanac, focusing on the five public works areas stressed by the curriculum. Lesson plans specify the goal, objectives, and specific vocabulary targeted for each chapter, as well as the materials needed for the activities.
That’s where APWA’s new educational outreach curriculum, Exploring the World of Public Works, comes in. This innovative and comprehensive curriculum was designed for students in 6th to 8th grade—an age at which many young people begin considering career paths.
In addition to being comprehensive and prepared for you, the lesson plans are flexible, allowing you to adapt the curriculum to fit your needs and time limitations. The curriculum offers three separate lesson plans for each chapter to accommodate a 30-, 45- or 60-minute period, and the “Extension & Enrichment” section provides ideas to expand lessons over multiple days, or allow for students to further explore these areas on their own.
The program has three key goals: to educate students about the role of public works in their everyday lives, pique interest in public works as a potential career, and provide teachers and public works professionals alike with well-developed lesson plans. It aims to give students a deeper knowledge of five public works areas—construction, parks and recreation, traffic and transportation, water and wastewater, and solid waste—so that they will appreciate the work that goes into
The curriculum’s activities are creative, educational and multi-disciplined. In one chapter, student groups research one of the top ten public works projects and present a “newscast” about the topic, combining creative writing and dramatics with communication and research skills. Other activities encourage students to be artistic (draw a construction worker with their equipment), analytical (brainstorm
traffic solutions), scientific-minded (investigate the physics of water treatment processes), and environmentally conscious (compare the impact of products’ manufacturing, packaging, and disposal). In addition to these fun and interactive activities, there are countless others suggested in the Guide, such as a traffic jam simulation in which students act as cars and curbs. These activities reinforce the information presented in the lesson in entertaining ways, making the learning memorable. The companion Resource CD-ROM contains all of the handouts and support materials for each lesson. It’s also filled with supplementary materials such as charts, photos, statistics and letter templates; games like Public Works Quiz Contest and the Number Conundrum; suggestions for classroom signals; and additional resources to extend lessons.
Spotlight on the Student Almanac The Student Almanac serves as an engaging yet highly-informative resource for students learning about the field, and can be used in conjunction with the Instructor’s Guide or alone for individual research. While the focus is primarily on public works, this Student Almanac is also holistic, giving students a greater understanding of public works topics and closely-related disciplines. By including information on related areas of interest, the Student Almanac increases student comprehension. Chapters 1 and 7 provide introductory information on public works and an in-depth discussion of related careers, respectively. Chapters 2-6 focus on construction, parks and recreation, traffic and transportation, water and wastewater, and solid waste. Each contains a timeline, careers section and background information on the subject. Some chapters also feature facts about other topics, projects and events that are closely tied
to the public works field, providing students with information which complements and expands upon the core of the curriculum. Cathy Barr, the author of the curriculum, notes that it “provides intense bits of information in seven chapters, each with a distinct public works topic.” Yet this Student Almanac is no boring reference book—its vibrant diagrams, illustrations and photos literally make it a colorful read! The information accompanying these visual features is also engaging; as Barr notes, the “format presents information in high-interest chunks that are more inviting.” For instance, “Did You Know?” features appear throughout the Student Almanac, drawing the students’ eyes to the information and highlighting interesting facts about public works’ inventions and infrastructure.
Spotlight on Mystery of the Night Vandals A student novel, Mystery of the Night Vandals, chronicles vandalism in one community and shows its effect on various aspects of public works while retaining a “whodunit” mystery tone. The book follows 7th graders Joshua and Ernesto as they prepare for their Academic Decathlon and the newlyadded community section of the competition. Their studying is disrupted when a series of pranks and vandalism hits their small town. This novel keeps students guessing as Joshua and Ernesto collect evidence about the vandals, and imparts public works knowledge to them as they learn about the field along with the boys. It shows the impact of vandalism, reveals the significant role that public works has in community maintenance, and emphasizes the importance of being yourself. The easy-to-read text holds student attention and can be used in combination with the other materials or on its own. A unit of instruction, containing before-, during- and afterreading activities and assessments, is also provided for the public works professional and instructors to test student comprehension. For more information or questions regarding Exploring the World of Public Works, please call Lillie Plowman, Marketing and Outreach Program Manager, at (800) 848-2792, ext. 5254. To purchase this curriculum and other American Public Works Association outreach materials, please visit the APWA Bookstore online at http://www.apwa.net/bookstore. September 2008
APWA Book Review
Excavation Systems Planning, Design, and Safety 352 pp • 2008 • McGraw Hill Publishing Company • Joe M. Turner, P.E. This book was written with the purpose of providing a basic introduction to principles, industry practices, safety and legislation in excavation work. It is specific to producing safe, stable excavations through planning and is not about mechanical excavating equipment such as excavators and production in that sense. The material is directed toward six major groups of individuals within the excavation industry: workers in the trench; contractors and their estimators and engineers; shoring manufacturing and distribution companies; civil design side and construction design side engineering firms; excavation safety professionals; and the legal profession. An overarching theme throughout the book is division of responsibility and the relationships among these groups. Producing excavations, excavation safety, and shoring are all synonymous with excavation work. It is hard to talk about one without talking about the others. This book’s scope is close to that of OSHA Subpart P—Excavations and the book stops where the standard leaves off, except that it presents detailed design and tabulated data information on manufactured shoring systems which were not envisioned at the time OSHA wrote the standard. This book offers depth and discussion in the form of commentary, design, engineering, use, and safety issues with all manufactured worker protection systems within the standard. It speaks in general about major engineered shoring systems such as pile and plate, sheet pile and tieback systems, but does not go into specific engineering for those systems. The engineering provided on the Subpart P systems is intended to help bridge the gap between the construction and manufacturing side use and the civil design side review and inspection of those systems. Chapters 1 and 2 provide background to the excavation industry and fundamental engineering concepts used throughout the book. Chapter 3 discusses the relationship between 14
the construction side and the civil side of excavation work, the excavation planning process, and industry standards. Chapter 4 is about the work that goes on prior to startup of excavation production operations. Outside force damage on existing subsurface installations is becoming a major focus and engineering discipline because of the severity of accidents associated with it. There is a section on damage from surface loads and support of exposed utilities. There is a section on trench plates and traffic covers over open excavations. Chapters 5, 6 and 7 are about the soil, soil loading, surcharge, and overall stability of the excavation. Chapters 8 and 9 look at worker protection systems covered in OSHA Subpart P: open cuts; timber shoring; trench jacks; and shoring shields. Additionally, these chapters cover manufactured shoring systems that were not contemplated at the time the standard was written such as aluminum shoring boxes and slide rail shoring. In these chapters there is emphasis on how manufactured shoring is engineered and tabulated so that engineers who review submitted shoring systems can see how the manufacturers arrived at their data tabulation. Emphasis is also placed on shoring equipment selection criteria and safety issues so that the contractors’ estimating and engineering staff can do more design and planning in-house prior to taking the plan to a shoring design engineer. Appendices 1 and 2 are the Subpart P—General Requirements and Appendix A—Soils with commentary. These sections present basic material that should be integrated into competent person training seminars and offer insight for the contractor and legal profession. Awareness, knowledge and technology are the tools used to produce safety and productivity in excavation work. The intent of this book is to help the reader gain access to those tools. To purchase your copy, please call the APWA Bookstore at (800) 848-2792, ext. 5254. Or, for more information on purchasing this publication and other American Public Works Association books, please visit the APWA Bookstore online at www.apwa.net/bookstore.
New Publications from APWA! New! Exploring the World of Public Works 2008 • APWA
APWA’s new educational outreach program is designed to tell 6th – 8th graders about public works. These students experience all aspects of public works in their daily lives, and this curriculum shows them how the effort put forth by public works professionals contribute to every community. The curriculum has four components: an Instructor’s Guide filled with discussions and activities, a Student Almanac packed with fun facts and career information, a companion novel brimming with suspense, and a CD-ROM featuring tons of additional resources! PB.A808 • Member $225 /Non $275 For a full description of this product see p. 45.
Updated! Construction Inspection: A Review
Updated! Public Works
Management Practices (6th Ed)
168 pp • 2008 • APWA
Now in its sixth edition, this Manual is a vital tool to help public works agencies enhance performance, develop or improve management practices, strengthen employee morale, and increase productivity. Expanded to 546 practice statements—including a new chapter on bridges—the Manual describes the critical elements for a full-service agency to accomplish its mission and provides the framework for an objective self assessment of the agency. PB.APWM • Member $70 /Non $95
New! Lessons from the Life of Jack Pittis: The Perfect Public Servant
64 pp • 2008 • APWA • John Ostrowski
This newly-revised course teaches construction inspection skills, knowledge, and competencies using a comprehensive program. These new curriculum materials cover skill areas spanning the spectrum of the professional inspector. PB.E09A (Training Package) Member $400 /Non $500 PB.E09B (Participant Guide) Member $70 /Non $95
Although the book’s stated purpose is to introduce Jack to the winners of the scholarship established to honor him, there are lessons to be learned for everyone who wishes to excel in the public works profession. Through the eyes of close friends and colleagues, readers can use this book as a road map for building and improving their own lives and careers as public servants. PB.A826 • Member $10 /Non $12
New! The Concise Manual for
New! Solid Waste Pocket Guide:
2008 • APWA • Course • CD-ROM INCLUDED
Calculating Public Fleet Rates
32 pp • 2008 • APWA • John McCorkhill, Jr.
The ability to “cost-out” a product line can be the difference between a thriving operation and one that is on the brink of failure. This manual guides the public sector fleet manager—in easy-to-read, understandable language—through the process of calculating chargeback rates for billing customers. Topics include calculating service rates for vehicle repairs, determining shop staff levels, and establishing rental rates to fund vehicle replacements. PB.A827 • Member $15 /Non $20
New! An Interview with James Attebery
64 pp • 2008 • APWA
As a key figure on both the local and national levels, Jim Attebery’s life is a testament to perseverance and hard work. Besides playing a major part in providing public works infrastructure to the City of Phoenix during a time of historic growth, he also filled a crucial role in the national development of utility location techniques and organizations. PB.A825 • Member $12 /Non $15
Facts, Figures, Conversions and Other Handy Information for the Solid Waste Professional
2008 • APWA • Prepared by Marc Rogoff, Ph.D.; Keith Howard and Ziad Mazboudi
This quick-reference field guide contains selected information and data excerpted and summarized from various solid waste industry sources. Facts, figures, conversions and other valuable information are organized under categories of collection, landfill gas, key engineering formulas, landfill, planning, recycling, special waste, transfer stations and waste-to-energy. PB.A828 • Member $6 /Non $11
New! Historical Essay #27: Black Waters: Responses to America’s First Oil Pollution Crisis
88 pp • 2008 • APWA • Joseph Pratt, Ph.D.
This essay explores public responses to oil pollution fifty years after the widespread oil pollution in the World War I era. By looking at the history of the 1920s, Pratt exposes powerful economic and political forces that aligned against the strengthening of pollution controls in the era. Both the nature of this political battle and its outcome reveal patterns that have shaped oil pollution controls in the U.S. for almost half a century. PB.A830 • Member $10 /Non $15
To order call 1-800-848-2792 or visit www.apwa.net/bookstore
Chapter Membership Achievement Award winners announced
The American Public Works Association is proud to announce the winners of the 2008 Chapter Membership Achievement Award. Established in January 2005, this award encourages membership growth by honoring the chapters showing the largest net increase in membership, compared to other chapters of similar size. (The chart at right has been corrected from the version that ran on p. 24 of the August issue.) Every APWA chapter in good standing is eligible for consideration. However, the chapter must have submitted its financial reports in accordance with the Rules Governing Chapters and must utilize the APWA National office for administration of membership dues collection. Congratulations to the 2008 winners for their success in member retention and recruitment (see chart). Each of these winning chapters will be presented with a patch for their chapter banner and a $250 check which
Net Membership Increase from June 30, 2007–June 30, 2008
100 or less
More than 850
Chapter Size Division, Members (as of 6/30/2007)
could be used to provide even more educational and networking opportunities for their local members. Contact Patty Mahan at (800) 848-APWA, ext. 5256 (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have questions about the Chapter Membership Achievement Award.
INCLUSIVITY: A UNIQUELY AMERICAN CONCEPT Raymond U. Acuña, P.E. Deputy Street Transportation Director City of Phoenix, Arizona President-Elect, APWA Arizona Chapter The demographics of our great society continues as it always has to become more diverse. Organizations that are preparing for this future strive to understand and utilize all groups of individuals who can provide multiple perspectives and abilities in order to compete effectively and meet the needs of an ever-changing client base. This is in essence our great American experiment. The American Public Works Association is one of the organizations at the forefront of this movement. This commitment is demonstrated through the support and work of 16
the APWA Diversity Committee led by fellow Arizonan, Jennifer Adams and through the solicitation of honest feedback on how our organization can be more inclusive. In addition, in APWA Past President Larry Frevert’s discussion of priorities, he encouraged us to expand the perception of “public works” by reaching out to others not traditionally or directly involved in our profession in order to broaden the idea of what public works is and to create a welcoming environment for new people. The purpose of our organization is to prepare people to serve people. The discussion of diversity is one example of this focus on people. This dialogue is also a part of several efforts to prepare our organization for the future
by trying to understand the strengths we individually and collectively bring to the projects and services we provide. This uniquely American challenge gives us an opportunity to succeed. We will continue the tradition of including all who want to join us in building and maintaining the greatest nation on earth. Raymond U. Acuña can be reached at (602) 256-4336 or raymond.acuna@ phoenix.gov.
APWA staffer honored for her tenure
t the Kansas City office staff meeting on July 23, Connie Hartline, publications manager, was recognized for her twenty years on the APWA staff. “As our longest-tenured colleague and in-house APWA historian, your past and current contributions have consistently played an important role in heightening the public perception of our association,” wrote Executive Director Peter B. King in the recognition letter. In Connie’s own words: “Although I needed a permanent, full-time job, I took a chance in 1988 by accepting a temporary position to cover for a maternity leave as an administrative assistant in the Education Department of APWA. Now, 20 years later, I am the only one left from the 1988 staff (in either the Kansas City or D.C. offices). “Every position I’ve had during my tenure here has involved writing or editing. In Education, my favorite responsibility was as editor of the Emergency Management Quarterly, a newsletter that was funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Later, when I moved into the Research Department, my first assignment was to write a book on transportation congestion, and later I worked on the project that resulted in the first edition of the Public Works Management Practices book. This morning, I just received from the printer the first run of the sixth edition of that book! “I was the last editor of the Pro-Views series of technical newsletters in Chicago, and the first editor of the Reporter when APWA relocated to Kansas City. For the past 13 years, I’ve been the publications manager, a position that was created when former Executive Director Bill Bertera gave me an initial budget of $50,000 to renew the publications emphasis that had been dormant during the transition to K.C. I’m proud to say that, since that time, APWA has put approximately 150 new or updated publications into the hands of public works professionals to help them do their jobs. “The best part of any of the jobs I’ve done for APWA has been working with the membership. Each position has put me in contact with scores of members and has given me a broad perspective on public works issues that the average citizen never begins to comprehend. Working with and for people who make a difference in the quality of life throughout North America has been a privilege.”
Connie Hartline stands with her congratulatory cake, which displays the various APWA logos used throughout the organization’s history.
New APWA staff Laura Berkey has joined the Government Affairs team as Manager of Government Affairs. She will focus on homeland security and emergency management issues for APWA’s membership. Laura joins APWA from the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute where she worked as Manager of Government Affairs. In this role, her primary focus was advocating for HVACR industry interests concerning climate change, energy efficiency, and tax issues. Laura began her career as a grassroots lobbyist for Bonner and Associates, a small lobbying firm in Washington, D.C. Laura has a Master’s in Applied Politics from American University, as well as a Bachelor’s in Political Science and Spanish Language from American University. Outside of work, Laura enjoys reading mystery novels and classic literature, cooking, and spending time with family and friends. September 2008
Setting Career Goals: Managing the crystal ball and influencing your future Susan M. Hann, P.E., AICP, ICMA-CM Deputy City Manager City of Palm Bay, Florida APWA Director-at-Large, Transportation In November 2007, the APWA Leadership and Management Committee concluded its series of articles on public works leadership and management issues entitled “The Baker’s Potluck.” This was the third series of articles (the first being “The Baker’s Dozen,” the second being “The Baker’s Menu”) that discuss various leadership and management topics of interest to APWA members. The committee’s new series is entitled “Recipes for Success” and touches on a variety of leadership and management topics. Along with each article is an actual recipe for a favorite public works dish submitted by a member. Each recipe is a favorite from the members in their department. Give them a try. Many of the articles written on leadership and management topics focus on “planning your work” and “working your plan.” Figure out where you want to go, how to get there and purposefully move in that direction. That sounds easy, right? Seriously, the topic of setting career goals is complicated as it involves variables you do control and variables you don’t control—just like life. Even though things change and evolve over time, having a plan in mind allows you to make decisions with the plan in the background. As hard as it may seem to plan the future, a good first step is to figure out what makes you happy. This may require you to sit down with a pencil and paper and write down what you enjoy and what you don’t enjoy. Write down some of the skills that you have and like to use. Write down skills that you want to acquire. Write down where you’d like to live. Essentially, develop some parameters that define “you.” 18
Also, write down any constraints that you have and whether or not you can take steps to overcome them; for example, do you have family obligations that necessitate living in a particular area? Identify any career-related activities—such as pursuing a degree—that you plan to undertake. This exercise will give you a foundation for developing your career plan. Notice that I haven’t talked about money. For most people in the public works profession, money is a nice benefit for doing work that you love all day. Money is required to feed yourself and your family, but I would advocate against including money as a defining parameter. During my career, I had a few general income goals at various points in my career. This was just one of the factors I kept in the back of my mind when considering career opportunities. In one case, I took a pay cut when I changed jobs. It turned out that the pay cut led to a much higher pay scale later on in my career, but I didn’t know that at the time and didn’t care. I chose the career opportunity that had me spending more of my time doing something I really enjoy. I have found through the years that if you follow your “heart” in making career decisions, the money will follow. I believe this is because when you are doing what you really enjoy, you work hard and give your best to your employer— which often leads to advancement or other opportunities with higher pay. Flexibility is another component of a good career plan. I never planned to be a Deputy City Manager and, frankly, didn’t take any steps to make that happen. I was perfectly happy as a Public
Works Director. When the opportunity arose to be more involved with overall management of the city and less involved in operations, I felt that this would be a good way for me to expand my horizons and gain a different perspective. However, I really struggled with letting go of my interest in operations. Luckily, our Public Works Director and I have worked together for a long time and he graciously tolerates my interest in operations and I try to keep him out of trouble (which, if you know Jim, is impossible—but it addresses my interest in seemingly unsolvable problems). Now that I have spent time “on the balcony” of city management, I have learned a lot about the relationship of public works to the fabric of the entire city. This perspective will serve me well in the future regardless of where my career may go. Similarly, as a young engineer, I started work for a municipality doing development plan review. Then, I worked in the private sector creating development plans. I was fortunate to learn both sides of the business, so years later I have a good understanding of both the public and private sector sides of development review. The experience I had 25 years ago helped me to guide our organization to work cooperatively with the development community to create a more streamlined and effective process. By gaining experience on “both sides of the fence” early in my career, it gave me more options later in my career. Since I’ve been in the profession for over 25 years, I can look back on career choices and evaluate the evolution of my career. I didn’t have much of a
plan 25 years ago, but one thing solidly in my plan was to get my license as a professional engineer. This caused me to seek employment opportunities that had a good variety of technical work. As I became more experienced, I found that career opportunities frequently came my way. This led me to consider what parameters were important to me when dealing with choices. In one case, I had a very lucrative job offer for work I would have truly enjoyed—but the job would have necessitated relocation. Even though this job was very attractive, the relocation aspect just didn’t work for my family. So, I declined—but without any regrets. Yes, it would have been an awesome job, but because I have pursued and maintained opportunities that fit with my personality and lifestyle, I’ve been fortunate to be happy to go to work every day. To me, this is the difference between a job and a career. A job is something you do so you can feed yourself and your family, but it has no real connection to what defines you. If you are lucky, the job is something you at least like to do all day. A career is something in which you have invested yourself and often, your family. My husband has graciously donned a dog suit at an All-America City competition. He has played Uncle Sam at the local July 4th celebration. He has endured endless rubber-chicken events and he has eaten alone while I worked through whatever crisis was happening at the moment. This is a career. We are both invested in the community.
clude “giving back to the profession,” so I volunteer to do projects for various professional organizations. These projects have allowed me to demonstrate my skills for people I would not otherwise meet. While I don’t consciously use my involvement in professional organizations as a résumébuilder, the fact remains that these experiences do build your résumé and build your network. Consequently, I believe a very important part of your career plan should be making some decisions about the extent to which you will be involved in professional organizations. I would always advocate that becoming involved in professional organizations is good investment of your time; however, this is a personal decision that needs to be made in the context of the other parameters of your life. I have known some incredibly talented professionals who chose to focus on their job and
their family and sacrificed participation with professional organizations. I have also known some folks who just join professional organizations to list their membership on their résumé. I don’t find that too inspiring. If you are going to be a member, consider being a participating member. Whatever your decision regarding participation in professional organizations, this is one of the key decisions you will make regarding your career. Again, flexibility is important—as circumstances change in your life, your ability to participate may change. But, don’t ignore this aspect of career planning. Make sure you are strategic about your choices in this area. One of the outstanding aspects of a career in public works is the great diversity of opportunities. You can literally do just about anything, anywhere. Every location on earth (and perhaps beyond…) needs public works. Of
Certainly, my suffering husband did not have “wear dog suit” in his career goals, and frankly, neither did I. However, my #1 career goal is to do the best job I can for my community, so when duty “barked” we answered. By always trying to do my best and answering or inspiring whatever craziness is part of our community fabric, I have a career that I love each and every day. Similarly, the work I am privileged to do for APWA is fun, interesting and rewarding. My career objectives also in
course, the depth and breadth of opportunities also makes it very difficult to plan your career because there are so many choices. Do I build water systems in Africa or drainage systems in Philadelphia? Should I be an engineer or manage engineers? Do I work inside or outside? Should I work by myself or with a team? Don’t be overwhelmed by the variety of choices. Instead, take charge of your career and spend some time thinking about what is important to you as you spend your 8,10 or 12 hours every day at work. Your career plan doesn’t need to be carved in stone, but your decisions will be easier and your work life happier if you can evaluate and pursue opportunities that fit a well-thought-out set of
parameters that will cause you to be energized at work. If you know what makes you happy, then you can find career opportunities that will inspire you. Once you move down the path of an inspired employee, many more opportunities will come your way. The synergistic effects of having a career you enjoy are numerous. So, figure out what makes you happy and a lucrative and rewarding career will follow! Susan M. Hann is a member of the Government Affairs Committee and a former member of the Leadership and Management Committee. She can be reached at (321) 952-3411 or hanns@ palmbayflorida.org.
CHILI SCOOP •
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
1 can hot chili, without beans
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
In a 9-inch pie pan, layer cream cheese (spread it out), top with chili, then cover with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until melted. You may also microwave. Serve with tortilla chips or corn chips. Submitted by Cathy Trexler, Accreditation Manager, Allegheny County Public Works Department, Pittsburgh, PA
Don’t miss this chance …to get in the APWA Reporter’s Congress Highlights issue By advertising in the APWA Reporter, news of your equipment, product or service will be sent to more than 29,500 APWA members, most of whom are key decision makers in their agencies. So, don’t miss this opportunity to advertise in the October issue which will cover highlights of APWA’s International Public Works Congress & Exposition in New Orleans. The deadline to reserve your space is September 5; the materials are due by September 9. Bonus: Advertise and we’ll give you a free listing in our “Products in the News” column!
Call Amanda, Erin or Jennifer at (800) 800-0341. 20
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Public works professionals willing to share their expertise and knowledge are invited to submit a proposal to speak at the 2009 APWA International Public Works Congress & Exposition to be held in Columbus, Ohio, September 13â€“16, 2009.
Proposal Submission Deadline: September 30, 2008 SUBMIT ONLINE TODAY at www.apwa.net/SpeakAtCongress September 2008 APWA Reporter
My Trip to Kiwi Land: An Overview of Asset Management in New Zealand Trish Aragon, P.E. City Engineer City of Aspen, Colorado 2008 APWA Jennings Randolph Fellow was fortunate enough to be awarded the 2008 Jennings Randolph Fellowship through APWA. The purpose of the fellowship is to provide an opportunity for APWA members to broaden their knowledge and exchange experiences and information on trends and advances in public works, through contact with its international partners. It is also to promote friendship and understanding among public works staff on an international basis. I can safely state that I have accomplished both goals. I left with a better understanding of asset management and gained several friendships along the way. Yes, New Zealand is gorgeous, no, I didn’t see any hobbits, and yes, I fell in love with not only the country but the people. I toured New Zealand to find out what their public works role was in mitigating construction impacts of private development. As a typical engineer I couldn’t help but notice the infrastructure of the country (such as roads, bridges, signs, etc.). From my own observations it appeared that NZ was doing a great job in maintaining its infrastructure. I later understood that this had to do in large part to the local government’s role in asset management. In New Zealand, as part of the Local Government Act of 2002 (LGA), local governments are required to develop Long Term Council Community Plans (LTCCP). These are 10-year plans which describe what the community wants (outcomes or vision), the local government activities and how they relate to those outcomes, and how much those activities are going to cost in taxes. The plan also contains all of local govern22
The author with Gisborne, New Zealand, site of the 2008 INGENIUM Conference, in the background.
ment’s financial policies. As part of the LTCCP each local government develops asset management plans for each of its infrastructure groups (such as transportation, water, sanitary sewer, etc.). The LGA is similar to this country’s GASB 34 which requires our state and local governments to begin reporting all financial transactions including the value of our assets in our annual financial reports on an accrual accounting basis.1 The difference between the GASB 34 and the LGA is that GASB 34 is a reporting requirement of the value of public assets over time. This allows local governments to make their improvements or lack of improvements in public assets more apparent.1 Whereas,
the LGA includes a focus on sustainability to promote social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of communities, in the present and in the future.2 This is referred to as the quadruple bottom line. Through the LTCCP process NZ local governments have become leaders in the development of asset management plans. Each of NZ’s 85 local authorities has prepared its own LTCCP, each one focused on that community’s goals. In this article I will focus on one of the local councils that I visited, the North Shore City Council (NSCC), and how their transportation asset plan is organized. The NSCC has a population of approximately 200,000 people. It encompasses
NSCC uses a close relationship between the vision, community outcomes and LOS. LOS is a major contributing factor facilitating the delivery of desired community outcomes. The NSCC then uses the LOS to develop life-cycle management plans for each asset group. The life-cycle plans include: •
the objectives for the asset.
background data for each asset including: a. key life-cycle management issues b. physical parameters and value c. asset capacity/performance d. asset condition e. historical expenditure
A highway outside of Gisborne
an area of 50 square miles and is located north of Auckland on the north island. The NSCC transportation network includes 423 miles of roads. Some of the associated assets include pavements, streetlights, traffic controls, bridges, retaining walls, curb and gutters, and trails among other assets.
experience of customers of the service. Typically include customer satisfaction, responsiveness, quality, environmental outcomes, etc.
f. asset value •
the management tactics to achieve the levels of service, under three main work categories:
The NSCC asset management practice includes the application of engineering, financial, economic, and management to infrastructure assets with the objective of providing the required levels of service (LOS) in the most cost-effective manner. The NSCC organized their LOS statements into three categories: •
Implementation Standards – internal design criteria, subdivision and development standards, etc., that apply to new construction standards.
Service Provision – strategic standards specifying the ongoing provision of infrastructure. Dropping below these LOS is a key indicator that additional investment is required.
Operational Standards – LOS with a closer relationship to the
a. operations and maintenance – day-to-day expenses b. renewals – periodic works, replacing existing assets c. new works – creating new assets The management tactics are used to develop the financial forecasts for each of the asset classes. Funding needed for operations, maintenance and renewals is based upon the asset management plan for that asset. As part of the LGA, local governments are required to allocate that portion of tax revenues for this funding. This removes competing interests from maintaining an existing asset as opposed to funding new assets.
Since local governments are required to maintain the funding needed for operations, maintenance and renewals, their assets are impeccably maintained. So, if you find yourself in NZ and are impressed with the quality of their infrastructure, it’s not by accident. I believe it’s through their diligent use of asset management. Special thanks to INGENIUM, APWA, North Shore City, Far North, Thames and Rotorua District Councils. I also want to thank Phil Consedine, Richard Green, Patrick Murphy, Richard Kirby, Suzanna Barnes-Gillard, Andy Bell and Ross Vincent for making my trip es-
pecially memorable. Lastly, I want to thank the City of Aspen for supporting me on this trip. Trish Aragon can be reached at (970) 9205080 or email@example.com. Technology News, Center for Transportation Research and Education, Iowa State University, January–February 2000 1
Local Government Act 2002, Section 3, Purpose, Parliament of New Zealand, 2002 2
Other References: North Shore City Transportation Management Plan, August 2007
CALL FOR APPLICANTS FOR 2009 JENNINGS RANDOLPH INTERNATIONAL FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM The APWA International Affairs Committee is pleased to announce the call for applicants for the 2009 Jennings Randolph International Fellowship Program. This fund was originally established by the APWA International Public Works Federation (IPWF) at the Eisenhower World Affairs Institute in 1987. In 2008, one APWA member was funded for a study tour in New Zealand. It is the intent of the International Affairs Committee (IAC) to award two to three fellowships per year for APWA members to travel to countries with which APWA has formal international partnerships with other public works associations. The criterion for the program is as follows: APWA members will present public works/infrastructure-related papers at APWA’s international partnership countries’ public works-related conferences; coupled with a one-week or more extended study tour of public works facilities in that country; and a paper regarding that tour presented at the next available APWA Congress or the Fellow’s respective chapter conference and other professional organizations; and preparation of an article in the APWA Reporter. At this time, it is the intention that fellowships be made available for attendance at the IPWEA, INGENIUM and SPWA/CZPWA conferences every other year and the AMMAC conference annually. The Jennings Randolph Fellowship will be awarded on the basis of funding available each year through interest earned in the fund. Some years may be more lucrative than others and the com24
mittee hopes to be able to award more than one fellowship per year. The call for proposals for the Jennings Randolph Fellowship are: •
Slovakia Public Works Association (SPWA) and Czech Republic Public Works Association (CZPWA) – generally in October (Fellowship for 2009)
Asociacion de Municipios de Mexico, A.C. (AMMAC) – generally in November (Fellowship for 2009)
Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia (IPWEA) – September 6-10, 2009 (Fellowship for 2009)
The proposed study topic should be mutually relevant to the specific country and to APWA members. The fellowship will generally cover the airfare expenses. The registration fee for the host conference will be complimentary. For additional information and an application form, please access APWA’s website at www.apwa.net and locate guidelines and an application for the Jennings Randolph Fellowship program on the “About APWA” page under “International Activities.” Or you may contact Kaye Sullivan, APWA Deputy Executive Director, at (800) 848-APWA (2792), extension 5233 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To be eligible for 2009 fellowships, applications must be received at APWA headquarters by 5:00 p.m. Central on November 14, 2008. The successful applicant(s) will be notified by February 1, 2009.
3 Ways to BE part of 2009 APWA North American Snow Conference Join more than 1,000 public works professionals from streets, roads, and transportation departments from all across the Snow Belt of the U.S. and Canada. It’s the only place you’ll find this much equipment, experience and knowledge of snow fighting and winter road maintenance under one roof.
2009 APWA North American Snow Conference
ATTEND EXHIBIT APWA’s Snow Conference combines four days of quality education programs and technical tours with opportunities to network with manufacturers, distributors, consultants and other public works professionals.
The Snow Conference exhibit floor just keeps getting better, and you should be a part of it!
The Snow Conference features the best technical and educational program out there with dynamic keynote speakers and more than 40 education sessions, roundtables, and technical tours to choose from. You’ll come away with specific ideas to finetune your winter operations program.
More than half of the Snow Conference attendees are from municipalities with a population of 100,000 or more. This ensures you of quality leads – customers who use and rely on vendors like you.
To attend, watch for updates on the APWA Website: www.apwa.net/snow.
Many activities are planned on the exhibit floor to draw customers to your booth!
SPEAK You have overcome the challenges of removing snow, treating icy roads and meeting the demands of the citizens – your unique experiences qualify you to speak at the Snow Conference. We encourage you to contribute your knowledge at the 2009 North American Snow Conference in Des Moines, IA. You’re considered an expert in your field and our attendees want to hear from you. Submit your ideas at www.apwa.net/speakatsnow
You can even increase your visibility at the show with distinctive sponsorships.
Deadline is September 5, 2008.
To exhibit, contact: Diana Forbes 816-595-5242 email@example.com
Questions about speaking, contact: Ashley Scherzer 816-595-5212 firstname.lastname@example.org
Is the price of fuel getting you down? Here are 37 ways to control fuel costs John McCorkhill, Jr., CFM/CAFM/CEM Director of Fleet Services City of Lynchburg, Virginia Chair, APWA Fleet Services Committee n many government budgets the overall cost of fuel is probably now the largest expense item in the budget. When I moved to Lynchburg, VA in 2000 the price of fuel reached its low-water mark of 73 cents a gallon for gasoline and 78 cents for diesel—today the same products cost us $3.50 and $4.45 respectively. Mind you, diesel fuel is now the ultra-low-sulfur variety, but this change alone is not the culprit causing such a steep rise in its price. In the same year (2000) fuel expense comprised about a fourth of our entire operating budget. For the current fiscal year it will exceed 60% of the budget! The economists and other experts familiar with the world petroleum market accuse demand for such steep increases in price and they may be right. The United States is the
world’s largest importer of petroleum products and today imports around 70% of its needs. Japan used to be second on the petroleum import list but recently China took over this position. Asian countries such as China and India in the past have relied rather substantially on bicycles for transportation but that is changing as each country gears up to manufacture their own automobile—China is building the Chery and India has the Tata Indica. With the Asian population constituting over one-half of the total population in the world, the demand for petroleum products in that part of the world will continue to expand which will most likely cause the price of fuel to further escalate. Despite rising fuel prices, the fuel economy of vehicles is one of consumers’ lowest priorities. It’s unfortunate to say
Top 5 Reasons to Be a Certified Public Fleet Professional 1. It highlights your leadership as a professional and demonstrates your expertise in fleet management. Members of the community, as well as your peers, will recognize the superior skills you’ve demonstrated to earn certification. 2. It provides increased hiring potential on a national level. Employers will feel confident when hiring you because your knowledge and abilities have been affirmed by APWA. 3. It advances public works in your community. With the skills you learn through our certification programs, you’ll provide exemplary services wherever you work. 4. It offers exclusive networking opportunities. You’ll have the chance to interact with other fleet management professionals. 5. It continues your professional development, making you the best public works employee possible!
The Certified Public Fleet Professional program includes an eligibility application process, an examination, and a recertification process. For additional details visit www.apwa.net/certification or contact Jill Boland email@example.com or 800-848-APWA, ext. 5294.
Upcoming Examinations: April 29, 2009, Des Moines, Iowa In conjunction with APWA’s North American Snow Conference Eligibility Application Deadline: February 27, 2009
September 16, 2009, Columbus, Ohio In conjunction with APWA’s International Congress & Exposition Eligibility Application Deadline: July 17, 2009
but most folks have little concern about conserving something that does not affect their personal pocketbook and the price of fuel going into a city vehicle is not costing the employee anything. This further exacerbates the rising fuel cost problem making it imperative that government officials find ways to constrain usage and better yet reduce cost wherever possible. What follows are ideas and thoughts to address the problem of increased fuel cost and what we can do to better manage the problem. One of the most successful things we can do is look for ways to reduce the size of the vehicle being used. When fuel prices rise and economy becomes a namesake again, the vehicle manufacturers immediately being scaling back vehicle size. We should do the same in our organizations. Will a compact sedan work instead of the intermediate or full-size varieties? And, can a compact pickup suffice instead of the ¾-ton or ½-ton monsters on the road? Not always does this solve the problem, but the vast majority of times we have found it does when times are like they are today. And don’t forget that downsizing also includes reducing the size of the engine such as going down to a six- or four-cylinder motor instead of the eight-banger that most likely just is not needed. What follows are a dozen broad measures for reducing fuel consumption and 25 other tips that can help the cause. Limit Idle Time: Avoid excessive sitting and idling. Shut off the engine while waiting or working in the field. Try not to travel during times of heavy traffic such as rush hour to reduce idling time. Modify your police patrolling policy to allow police patrol units to sit idle for 15 minutes of every hour. Regarding large trucks, a half-gallon of fuel is consumed while left to idle for an hour and in the process 40 miles of engine wear and tear is added to the vehicle. Adopt an anti-idling policy if necessary. Tire Pressure: Drivers should make sure their vehicle tires are properly inflated. Statistics show that tires alone account for 4-7% of a car’s fuel consumption. Keep your tires properly inflated by checking the owner’s manual or the door placard for recommended pressure—don’t rely on the psi pressure listed on the tire sidewall because that pressure is the maximum pressure the tire can safely handle while cold. Tires underinflated by 4-5 psi will increase fuel consumption by at least 10%. Do not check the pressure when the tires are warm from driving—let them cool down first. Keep up with your wheel alignments. An alignment is warranted if there is uneven tread wear or if your vehicle “pulls” to one side on a flat road. Cargo: Remove debris and excess items daily from the vehicle that add weight such as unnecessary tools and equipment. It’s surprising how much stuff can accumulate in a vehicle especially in the trunk or the back of a pickup. Less
weight means better fuel economy—200# of weight reduces fuel economy by 1 MPG. Plan Trips: Look at your schedule and activities and try to consolidate your daily trips. Some trips may be unnecessary. Plan your work to accomplish your task without multiple trips for tools and supplies. Trailer equipment to the job site rather than driving it along with multiple vehicles. Close Windows: Use windows and air conditioning wisely. Due to air resistance your mileage should improve if you keep your windows closed at speeds above 35 miles per hour. Air conditioning reduces fuel economy by 10-20% so don’t use it if you don’t need it. Drive Gently: Avoid sudden acceleration and jerky stopand-go. Anticipate the traffic patterns ahead of you and adjust your speed gradually and well in advance. Pretend there is an egg between your foot and the accelerator. Observe speed limits—there is 10-15% improvement in fuel economy if one drives 55 MPH instead of 65 MPH. Warm-Ups: Today’s modern vehicle is designed to warm up much quicker and in a matter of seconds so forget about those five minute warm-ups in the morning unless you’re driving a large diesel vehicle and even then three minutes will suffice. The most fuel-efficient way to warm up a vehicle is to drive it, not idle it. Reduce Your Vehicle Size: Reduce the size of the vehicle you’re driving to the work site. Don’t take a dump truck when a pickup will do and drive the small car instead of the big one for many of your errands. Purchase a vehicle with six or four cylinders instead of a big eight-banger. Consolidate: For Police and Fire use call management and when possible limit the number of vehicles sent to respond to a call. For other city operations, supervisors should park their vehicles and ride with crews to a job site. Use a crew cab truck to get to a job site when several workers need to get there. Engine Performance: A well-maintained engine operates more efficiently and will get better fuel mileage. Check your oil, filters and fluids periodically and don’t procrastinate on getting your vehicle in for preventive maintenance when prompted. Experiment with Alternative Fuel Vehicles: Purchase hybrid vehicles or drive vehicles that operate on alternative fuels such as natural gas, propane, bio-diesel, ethanol, etc. Fuel Up at the Right Time: Fill up in the early morning when the ground temperature is still cold. Most fuel storage tanks are underground and the colder the ground the more dense the fuel. When it gets warmer fuel expands so refueling in the afternoon or evening means a gallon is not exactly a gallon. Fill up when your tank is half full. The more September 2008
fuel in your tank the less air occupying its empty space. Fuel evaporates fast which means the more you put in your tank the more you will lose from evaporation.
Other Suggestions 1. Park vehicles in the shade to reduce fuel evaporation that occurs when parked under the hot sun; plus, the air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard cooling a vehicle that isn’t hot from the sun.
8. Do not allow employees to start their vehicles before clocking in. 9. Set a target to reduce fuel expense with incentives back to employees who succeed. 10. For vehicles with a fuel economy reading as part of the vehicle gauge package, have drivers keep the MPG reading visible at all times to monitor fuel economy and their driving habits.
2. Eliminate buying premium unleaded fuel which has 30% more greenhouse emissions compared to regular unleaded fuel; octane has nothing to do with performance but only volatility in combustion chamber.
11. Track utilization and run fuel exception reports to see who are the big users and monitor their use.
3. Go to a 4-day, 10-hour work week to reduce the standard commute to one less day.
13. Install pre-heaters on large trucks to heat hydraulic oil and coolants to reduce idling time.
4. Monitor employees with take-home vehicles, 4WD vehicles and SUVs
14. Use nitrogen-filled tires which assists the tire in maintaining its pressure longer which leads to better fuel economy.
5. Monitor fuel credit card purchases to ferret out any dishonesty. 6. Reprogram engine computers to shut diesel-powered vehicles down after a certain amount of idle time. 7. Install governors on vehicles (Big Brother approach).
12. Use autotherm systems.
15. Pull over and stop engine when making cell phone calls. 16. Use GPS and GIS to improve routing. 17. Install data recorders to see where trips are being taken. 18. Use camera phones to document items to avoid making a repeat trip.
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19. Provide employees with an incentive for using mass transit or incorporate a flex time work schedule so all employees don’t leave work at the same time causing traffic congestion which leads to increased idle time. 20. Make only right-hand turns like UPS to avoid waiting in traffic to turn left. 21. Purchase electronic PTOs. 22. Ride bikes to work. 23. Establish a satellite work yard to reduce travel time of ferrying equipment to work sites. 24. Partner with adjoining communities to fill up vehicles at their site rather than driving back across town to yours. 25. If living in a hilly area don’t punch the accelerator when climbing a hill because pushing on accelerator is just a waste of fuel.
Winner of the Municipal Association of SC Public Works Innovation Award!
John McCorkhill has served on the APWA Fleet Services Committee for three years and has served as one of the instructors for the Public Fleet Management Training Course. He can be reached at (434) 455-4429 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to develop vehicle equipment specifications Generating proper vehicle specifications does not have to be the mystery it seems David Higgins Director, Central Fleet Maintenance City of Boston, Massachusetts Member, APWA Fleet Services Committee ne of the most critical and time-consuming parts of a fleet manager’s annual requirements is the determination of the required vehicle specifications for the next year’s purchases. The process can be as difficult as one wants to make it or as easy as the following text details. The following is a comprehensive yet simplified format to follow when specifying your fleet vehicles, and can be tweaked to suit your own personal needs.
BEGIN WITH THE END: WHO? Who will operate this vehicle or piece of equipment? A critical and often overlooked piece of information regarding the creation of equipment specifications is the people factor. Just as with the proper component selection, the ultimate users can be the defining factor for equipment longevity. Consideration must be given to the individual, or group, that will operate the vehicle or piece of equipment. Are there any particular physical concerns or restrictions you need to take into consideration? If so, are there reasonable accommodations that can be specified to address the issue, such as possible relocation of controls or modification of access/egress for anyone/group? Does the unit described in the specification require any level of special licensing? Do all of the potential users possess the correct operating authority? Will the new unit be utilized by more than one entity, and if so, does an inventory of operators exist?
NEXT STEP: WHAT? What’s the skill level of the potential vehicle operators? As you establish a list of potential operators, consideration of skills required should be factored. What, if any, unique operational considerations should be taken into account? Is the proposed unit of similar size, functional components (i.e., transmission, method of power and fueling requirements) and operating characteristics as the unit being replaced? Can the specification be modified, without compromising functional intent, to address any major differences from the unit that is being replaced? Once all of these factors have been considered, an inventory of skills for potential operators will aid in highlighting the most economical use of training resources.
Tony DiPrizo works in the Central Fleet Maintenance shop.
An inventory of skills should be taken For replacement units, an inventory of the present operators, their functional skills, and level of familiarity with any anticipated change in operational requirements should be a baseline for skills inventory. For equipment that has not been utilized in the past, operational training is a requirement for the bid specification, with a level of competence established, prior to the authorization of usage. Records of training attended should be placed in the operator’s file and a record in the skills inventory database, including the source of training and sanctioning authority. In the event of license requirements, levels of state license authority should be included. Licensing requirements? Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Endorsements? If the proposed equipment meets the definition of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), a CDL is required (49 CFR, PART 383). The definition of a commercial motor vehicle states any motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles used in commerce to transport property, or passengers, if the motor vehicle: •
Has a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds inclusive of a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds. September 2008
Has a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds.
Is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver.
Is of any size and is used in the transportation of materials found to be hazardous for the purposes of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act and which requires the motor vehicle to be placarded under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR Part 172, Subpart F).
Should a CDL be required, any anticipated components that will need an endorsement to the license must be noted, e.g., air brakes, certain size tankers, combination vehicles, and passenger vans of certain capacity. In some applications, depending on the frequency of use, it may be more cost effective to consider a non-commercial motor vehicle, and contract for the service not fulfilled, absent the commercial motor vehicle. What is the intended function of the equipment? “What are you going to do with this vehicle?” seems like a straightforward question. However, reviewing potential applications, prior to creating the specifications, can prevent most of the “if only” reflections after the vehicle has been put in service. If the new unit is a replacement, a review of the original specifications, any in-service modifications, and any new applications anticipated can assist in ensuring a comprehensive specification. If, on the other hand, the new unit does not have any prior application, the clean-sheet-of-paper method can provide meaningful insight as to the potential application. The clean-sheet-of-paper method should involve input from all anticipated users, both functional and administrative. The best specification in the world will not work well in an environment that cannot support the economic requirements of the equipment or vehicle. Are there any dual-purpose considerations? Does the vehicle/equipment described have more than one application (e.g., a dump truck and sander, and/or plow)? Will more than one department utilize this equipment? If this unit is to be a shared resource, what, if any, functional compromises exist? Do the multiple applications make costeffective sense? Do any of the dual-purpose options compromise the overall effectiveness of the unit, e.g., will a built-in spreader within a dump body possibly have an adverse effect on types of material that can be transported, thereby limiting the effectiveness of the vehicle as a dump? What are the seasonal requirements for the described equipment? Specifications for optional components can enhance the functional applications of the unit. Certain types of small tractors can be designed to carry a wide variety of hydraulically-controlled implements, such as plows and material spreaders, broom and leaf-collection systems. 30
Maurice Smith and Patrick Markland work in the Central Fleet Maintenance office.
Given the main function of the described unit, many modular options are available for totally dissimilar operations. One single-power unit can be equipped to adopt a variety of different bodies, and therefore perform vastly diverse functions, albeit with some level of operational compromise. For example, a single cab and chassis can be transformed from a simple van body or flat bed into a tow truck or a tank vehicle. Review your current vehicle’s functions A review of the current unit’s function is the place to begin with the new specification. If the new piece of equipment is to be a replacement, data on the applicability of the old vehicle represents a wealth of information on how the new unit should be described. Information gathered from present users regarding current application can be combined with a clean sheet of paper approach to develop a description of intended function that will maximize the efficiency of the new unit. Reflection on any “what if” postulates will assist the process as the data is being gathered. Proper selection may rely on historical data A major part of the new component selection will rely on the current service and repair history of the existing unit. Particular attention should be given to any component or system that was problematic, and/or subject to service recalls or operational failure. Data from automated Vehicle Maintenance Information Systems (VMIS) can aid in highlighting areas of concern. Are there any systemic concerns regarding accident ratios being abnormal? Does the present unit have impaired sight lines, or some other type of obstruction? What would seemingly be a minor issue to staff (e.g., location of a mirror or the positioning of a switch) may be an operational nightmare for the functional team. Many of these types of items can be addressed when the new specification is being prepared. Are there any seasonal requirements? Are there specific seasonal requirements that require par-
ticular applications (e.g., dump trucks converted to material spreaders via a slide-in unit)? If any dual-purpose considerations have been identified, modifications based on seasonal requirements may conflict with multiple users. Will any one-user group impact another, as a result of climatic events?
WHERE: What is the principal area of operation? The efficiency of any new piece of equipment, or vehicle, can be a direct reflection of how well-suited it is for its environment. Consideration must be given not only to the what, but also to the where. Will the stated function be strictly urban? Are there any rural areas of operation? If so, are there particular limitations to vehicular size and/or weight that must be considered? If such limitations exist, however, and they only inhibit a small piece of the operational capacity of the new equipment, can the function that is adversely affected be outsourced with any level of cost efficiency? On-road or off-road or a combination of both? Does the intended function involve any off-road operation? Operating environments such as landfills, gravel pits, and other unimproved areas pose unique challenges to equipment and vehicles. If the area of intended operation includes both of these environments, some component options may compensate for the differing terrain and road surface. However, if the primary function is one particular venue, or another, consideration should be given to the compromise required to enable the described unit to operate effectively in both applications. If the compromise would render the primary function marginal, the secondary application should be reevaluated. What’s the environment of the projected vehicle’s usage? Once the primary area of utilization has been established, further consideration should be given to particular characteristics of the specific function required. Are there areas of limited access, such as hammerheads for plowing, cul-desacs that have limited turning radius, or loading docks that require extremely tight turning radius? Are there any deadend or one-way streets that limit access for certain-sized equipment? Servicing customers located in areas that are restrictive with regard to the size of trucks requires consideration in the specification process. All of these factors directly affect everything from wheelbase, and number of axles, to gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). If the primary area of operation has been established as an off-road environment, the component selection for driveline options should reflect the worst-case scenario for startability and gradeability. The selection of certain items will govern the unit’s ability to operate on unimproved roads, and on severe grades, with a maximum load. Some features, found on equipment that is primarily off-road, severely limit usage
for any type of on-road operation. Road speed and weight ratings may limit any potential on highway use of this type of vehicle. If the area of primary operation is determined to be on-highway, consideration should be given to the type of operation the equipment will be assigned. The components utilized for intra-city operations can differ significantly from those employed in an inter-state function. Operating characteristics for maximum load, road speed and terrain are all integral factors affecting equipment specifications. Tire size, transmission type and rear axle ratios all contribute to the overall operating efficiency, governing road speed and engine rpm. Logistical restrictions are quite often overlooked An often-overlooked area of equipment application is the logistical limitations that are present. Gross vehicle weight must be considered for all on-highway applications. Emergency response equipment must be able to access all areas. Weather-related concerns could influence vehicle and/or equipment requirements in areas that are not part of this type unit’s operating area. Narrow streets, weight-restricted bridges, low underpasses, limited-access highways, and any other physical anomaly that can inhibit access must be considered. In some instances, where the limitation is isolated and not systemic, a unique and individual piece of equipment can be utilized, and often the service provided can be contracted out. The use of this smaller, particular function unit will then not compromise the application of a larger unit, applicable for a broader range. If the specification describes a passenger vehicle, or lightduty truck, the GVWR is probably not a factor, within certain parameters. Special light-duty units, in service for fire and police departments, for transportation of people, and emergency equipment, can require unique weight ratings. Generally, emergency response vehicles are exempt from the CDL. The consideration of GVWR is more prevalent with medium- and heavy-duty units. The GVWR is a result of the components that are specified, from springs and axles to frame rails and tires. The old adage that “It is better to have it, and not need it, rather than to need it, and not have it” is applicable, with regard to weight ratings.
WHEN: Consider fiscal or calendar year for budget approval Most original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) introduce new models in the latter part of the year, generally late September through early November. Given the various methods of budget approval, and the timing for the required departmental review, current model-year pricing can be significantly different from the actual price of the unit, when the order is ultimately placed. In some instances, the best process is to add an escalator for the anticipated price increase, so the budget review process can be accomplished in a timely manner. The use of a previous model-year’s price structure, with September 2008
the percentage escalator factored in, can help the approval process coincide with the new-model release. Lead time is a requirement for effective equipment ordering The actual in-service date for a new vehicle or piece of equipment can vary due to a variety of circumstances. After the budget review and approval process, most disciplines require a bid process, prior to the contract award. Once the successful bidder has been identified, a review of the documentation, submitted with the bid, should be completed to ensure compliance with the original specifications. Depending on the vehicle or piece of equipment identified in the specifications, the lead time from receipt of order to delivery can be substantial. Factors ranging from popularity of a given model to availability of particular components can have a major impact on the length of time required to place a new unit in service. Order process with R.P.O.’s, L.P.O.’s and S.E.O.’s One of the factors that will affect any particular vehicle or piece of equipment that is ordered is the selection of various options. Generally, there are three types of options offered by the major manufacturers: • • •
R.P.O. – regular production option L.P.O. – limited production option S.E.O. – special equipment option
The regular production option and, in some cases, the limited production option have negligible effect on the length of time required to manufacture a vehicle. The special equipment option can have a severe impact on the time frame involved, particularly if the S.E.O. is unique to a limited application or vehicle type. Arguably, one of the most confusing questions regarding vehicle and/or equipment replacement, is when to buy? Given the parameters we have discussed, the decision as to when, in the life of the unit, you replace it still must be addressed. There are various equipment replacement schedules that are utilized, ranging from a pure economic formula, to some that never consider any residual value, and retain the vehicle to the end of its life. Given the intended function of any particular piece of equipment, the role that it serves in service to the operating discipline and the cost of non-performance, retaining a vehicle to the end of its service life is not generally the most cost-effective option. A simple standard, applied to any unit, can be an indicator of replacement cycle. If the maintenance cost, plus the downtime replacement cost, plus the residual cost approach 80 percent of the replacement cost, it is probably time to effect the change. Fleet size and the constant requirement for doing more with less can often be a dichotomy that is difficult to resolve. Establishment of the need for any particular vehicle, or piece of equipment, should be the first step in the process. The 32
replacement of any unit assumes the requirement for that unit still exists. Additional unit procurement should reflect a cost/benefit analysis that shows a positive for the new vehicle. As some fleets grow, the expectation is simply, “Well, we have always done it that way”; but often, upon some level of reflection, no one knows why there are X number of units dedicated to a given function. A short comparison from the existing fleet size as a base to a zero-based fleet size can often provide useful insight into excess numbers or serious shortages. Too often we can fall into the trap that if one is good, two is better, and three is just great! The most effective way to look at a cost/benefit analysis includes the original capitalized cost, amortized over the life of the unit, added to the operational and maintenance expense. The cost per unit of time (daily, weekly and monthly) modified by the utilization rate can develop a base for establishing the economic need for any given vehicle or piece of equipment. A number of other factors should be reviewed in the final phase (e.g., residual value, disposal cost); however, the initial review can establish a benchmark that can be utilized. As the goal of all fleet disciplines is geared to lower lifecycle costs, both traditional and non-traditional methods of procurement should be reviewed. A standard purchase, lease purchase, seasonal lease and rentals should be applied to the cost/benefit analysis. Several non-traditional sources may be utilized for seasonal requirements. Typically, contractors or off-peak distributors may have excess equipment, idle in time frames that complement departmental requirements. Functions that have unique equipment requirements can, at times, be coordinated with adjacent entities to offer a larger customer base for a potential contractor. This level of mutual aid, common in rural areas for life/safety issues, can be applied to equipment, as well as function. The more diverse the user base, the lower the cost of operation to any particular entity. These same periodic equipment and/or functional cooperation plans can also serve as the basis for any emergency/disaster aid requirements that develop on a local or regional level. After the specification has been completed and reviewed by all concerned, a pre-bid meeting with all potential vendors can prove very beneficial. Any major conflicts can be highlighted, and the exact nature of what is being described can be reviewed. Prior to awarding a contract, a review of the potential recipient, as to fitness, will aid in the process. Finally, and most importantly, be sure to check that the unit you receive is, in fact, the unit you described. Apply the basic management principle that “You get what you inspect, not what you expect.” David Higgins is a member of the APWA Fleet Services Committee. He can be reached at (617) 635-7564 or david.higgins@ cityofboston.gov.
or more information about these programs or to register online, visit www.apwa.net/Education. Program information will be updated as it becomes available. Questions? Call the Education Department at 1-800-848-APWA.
Fall/Winter 2008 Sept. 18-19
PSMJ’s Public Works Project Management Bootcamp – Atlanta, GA
PSMJ’s Public Works Project Management Bootcamp – Denver, CO
Salt Storage—More Than a Grain of Salt
PSMJ’s Public Works Project Management Bootcamp – Kansas City, MO
Self-Assessment Using the Management Practices Manual – La Quinta, CA
PSMJ’s Public Works Project Management Bootcamp – Boston, MA
Porous Pavement – How Is It Performing?
Public Fleet Management Workshop – Dallas, TX
PSMJ’s Public Works Project Management Bootcamp – Chicago, IL
Sustainability Series #1: Introduction to Sustainability—What it Means to Public Works
PSMJ’s Public Works Project Management Bootcamp – Seattle, WA
PSMJ’s Public Works Project Management Bootcamp – Cincinnati, OH
Ethics...or Doing the Right Thing
Construction Inspection: A Review Workshop – Philadelphia, PA
PSMJ’s Public Works Project Management Bootcamp – Sacramento, CA
PSMJ’s Public Works Project Management Bootcamp – Phoenix, AZ
Sustainability Series #2: Retrofitting Existing Buildings Using Green Design
PSMJ’s Public Works Project Management Bootcamp – New Orleans, LA
NPDES Good Housekeeping
PSMJ’s Public Works Project Management Bootcamp – San Antonio, TX
Web-Based Training • 10:00 a.m. – noon Central
The road to green is about minimizing the long-term impact of public works operations on the environment while enhancing organizational effectiveness. This webcast series will help you identify opportunities to embed concepts into your organization and create a vision of sustainability for the future. Oct 30, 2008 • Dec 11, 2008 • Jan 15, 2009 • Feb 26, 2009 • Visit our website for more information and to register.
Hybrid trash truck to hit Denver’s streets Nancy Kuhn Fleet Administrator Public Works Department City and County of Denver, Colorado t a time when city managers across the country are grappling with record-high fuel prices, the City and County of Denver is preparing to test one of the nation’s first hybrid-hydraulic trash trucks expected to result in fuel savings, lower maintenance costs and reduced emissions. “With its potential to increase fuel efficiency and improve air quality, this hybrid trash truck epitomizes the Mile High City’s commitment to environmental responsibility,” said Denver Public Works Manager Bill Vidal. Denver’s 115 refuse trucks travel an average of 8,400 miles a year and get about 2.3 miles to the gallon. With fuel prices at all-time highs, Denver is welcoming the opportunity for cost savings within its heavy-duty truck fleet. “If this hybrid trash truck goes 15-30% percent further on a gallon of fuel, the monetary savings with a fleet of these units could be dramatic,” said Fleet Maintenance Director Ernie Ivy. The hybrid trash truck went into service in Denver in July.
Denver’s new hybrid-hydraulic trash truck
In addition to saving money, Denver will be realizing emissions reductions with its new heavy-duty hybrid trash truck—a goal strongly supported by Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper’s Greenprint Denver initiative.
How the hybrid-hydraulic technology works In contrast to hybrid-electric technology, Denver’s “green machine” utilizes hybrid-hydraulic technology ideal for stop-and-go trash collection opera34
tions. The hybrid-hydraulic system recovers energy normally lost as heat by the vehicle’s brakes and stores the energy in the form of pressurized hydraulic fluid utilized when the driver accelerates. Hydraulics help slow the vehicle as well. Since the operator is engaging the hydraulic system during stop-and-go driving, less diesel fuel is consumed and emissions are reduced. Brake life is also expected to double. Peterbilt Motors Company manufactured the refuse truck utilizing Eaton Corporation’s Hydraulic Launch Assist (HLA) technology.
latest addition to Denver’s ever-expanding green fleet. The City: •
Has 120 hybrid-electric vehicles.
Utilizes alternative fuels including propane and E85 and runs its entire fleet of diesel units (about 1,000 of them) on cleaner-burning biodiesel fuel.
Utilized grant money to retrofit more than 80 vehicles/off-road equipment with emissions-control technology.
Used grant money to install preheaters on 17 refuse trucks to reduce cold weather idling time and associated emissions.
Reduced hazardous waste genera-
Newest addition to Denver’s green fleet The hybrid trash truck is the just the
tion at the Fleet Maintenance Division by one ton in 2007 with the purchase of environmentallysound parts washers. •
Utilizes water-based automotive paint free of hazardous air pollutants.
The new hybrid-hydraulic trash truck replaced an old refuse unit that was due to be retired in 2008. Since the trash truck is considered a test unit, Denver paid nothing extra for the hybrid technology, which is valued at about $38,000. The City and the truck’s manufacturers will be gathering fuel data and monitoring vehicle performance and brake wear in Denver’s high-altitude, cold-climate conditions. Peterbilt is testing about a dozen of the trucks in 2008, but Denver’s unit is the only one operating outside of Texas. Standing beside Denver’s new hybrid-hydraulic trash truck is Ernie Ivy, Director, Denver’s Fleet Maintenance Division.
Nancy Kuhn can be reached at (720) 8653911 or Nancy.Kuhn@denvergov.org.
EMISSIONS REDUCTION S O L U T I O N S
s 2EDUCE TAILPIPE AND CRANKCASE DIESEL EMISSIONS s #OST EFFECTIVE AND HIGH EFlCIENCY SOLUTIONS PLUS $0&