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NY City Council Resolution

AEA Press Release - August 6, 2007

NY1 News - August 6, 2007
Officials Call For Greater Oversight Following Bridge Collapse

NYC Resolution No. 295-2006
Resolution urging the Mayor to issue an executive order creating an office to oversee all development, operation, and maintenance of the public and private infrastructure of the City of New York.

By Council Member Monserrate
Whereas, New York City has a vast and complex public and private infrastructure that includes bridges, tunnels, roads, buildings, structures and systems that, despite their age, are the envy of the world; and

Whereas, Public infrastructure affects the safety and security of businesses, workplaces, schools, places of worship, hospitals, cultural institutions, property, homes, and the daily quality of life of all New Yorkers; and

Whereas, Public infrastructure also affects millions of visitors to the city annually; and

Whereas, A substantial portion of the city’s annual budget is dedicated to the upkeep of existing and the development of new public and private infrastructure; and Whereas, There is currently no requirement that the Mayor appoint a single, expert individual to oversee and be accountable for the centralized and integrated development, operation, and maintenance of the city’s infrastructure; and

Whereas, The lack of comprehensive, centralized expert asset management results in an infrastructure system that is not as efficient and as cost-effective as it can be; and Whereas, The Mayor can substantially improve asset management of the public and private infrastructure by issuing an executive order that creates a permanent office to be filled by either a Licensed Professional Engineer or a Registered Architect who will be appointed by the Mayor and charged with oversight of all public and private infrastructure; and

Whereas, Such an office shall be empowered and required to: (1) advise the Mayor and the Council in formulating the capital program for the city; (2) set overall policies for the maintenance, rehabilitation and construction of the city infrastructure; (3) oversee and control all infrastructure operations; establish and enforce rules for the construction, maintenance and restoration of public areas used by private utilities; (4) represent the Mayor in dealings with federal and state agencies, other regional governments, and private entities on all infrastructure-related matters; (5) interact with government and private regional planning agencies; (6) establish uniform standards for procuring Engineering and Architectural services on the basis of qualifications; (7) ensure the use of such standards by all city agencies; and (8) coordinate with state and federal agencies in procuring funds for city infrastructure projects; and

Whereas, The creation of this office will increase accountability and improve the development, operation, and maintenance of the public and private infrastructure; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York urges the Mayor to issue an executive order creating an office to oversee all development, operation, and maintenance of the public and private infrastructure of the City of New York.

DJ LS # 499

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August 6, 2007
American Engineering Alliance Press Release


The recent catastrophic collapse of the Minneapolis bridge and the steampipe explosion in mid-town Manhattan highlight the urgent need to address the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. Given the recent American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) failing report card of the nation’s infrastructure, it is imperative that Federal, State and City governments tackle this looming crisis in an aggressive and comprehensive way.

The American Engineering Alliance (AEA), a national Engineering organization founded in 1995 and representing Engineers from all Engineering disciplines and employment venues, is committed to elevating the role Engineers play in public life while promoting and protecting public health and safety. AEA has consistently advocated for the competent management of the nation’s infrastructure assets by licensed technical professionals, namely Professional Engineers (PE’S) and Registered Architects (RA’s). AEA has spoken out against the ominous trend by government entities, at the City, State and Federal level, of placing non-Engineering managers to oversee technical projects. Invariably non-Engineering managers stifle, intimidate or over-rule good Engineering judgment of the technical professionals they manage resulting in bad decisions and, sometimes, catastrophic and deadly results. To reverse this ominous and dangerous trend, AEA, along with its sister Engineering and Architectural Societies, recently introduced legislation in NY City Council calling for the creation of an office for the management of the City’s public and private infrastructure. This legislation ( Resolution 195-2006 ) is sponsored by Councilmember Hiram Monserrate.

We hope that the recent tragic events will galvanize the public, as well as its elected officials, to quickly address the looming infrastructure crisis with both money and competent technical expertise free from political interference. Only by engaging the Engineering and Architectural Community, as well as other stakeholders, can we begin to solve this grave crisis.

We urge the Mayor to take the first step in addressing this vital issue by embracing the recommendations of Resolution 195-2006. We, in the Engineering and Architectural Community, firmly believe that the time is now for the City to have a Deputy Mayor for Infrastructure. We hope the Mayor, an Engineer himself and a visionary, sees the wisdom of this Resolution.

American Engineering Alliance
Louis R. Comunelli, PE, Secretary: comunellil@verizon.net | 917-681-1177
Salvatore Galletta, PE, Chair: srgalletta@aol.com | 917-575-8060

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