The November 7, 2013 Town Council Meeting provided Gilbert Watch with the saddest and most telling evidence to date that proves that 4 out of 7 Town Council members have lost their ability to represent their constituents, unless those constituents are the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Alliance, SRP, Town Officials, and neighboring jurisdictions. These Council members include Mayor John Lewis, Vice Mayor Ben Cooper, and Council members Jenn Daniels and Jordan Ray.
They approved one of the largest increases in regulations on private property and on the building industry, in Gilbert history. What is truly disappointing is that they did this in spite of having received months of evidence from private citizens for why the Council should not approve these regulations. It is also remarkable that the Council is preparing to approve the next round of codes, as dictated by the ICC (International Code Council) for 2015.
Three Council members opposed passage of the Codes: Victor Petersen, Jared Taylor, and Eddie Cook. Council member Victor Petersen favored an option which would have allowed passage of only those codes that would have reduced regulation. Council member Eddie Cook read many of the code books! Jared Taylor has articulated very well, and often, the critical difference between consumer choice versus government mandate.
Each of these three Council members deserve a Thank You from Gilbert citizens! Victor.Petersen@gilbertaz.gov, Jared.Taylor@gilbertaz.gov, and Eddie.Cook@gilbertaz.gov.
Over the last ten years, the ICC (International Code Council) has morphed into an organization that has forced builders all over America to comply with building codes that no longer address honest, urgent safety issues. Rather, these ICC codes force everyone to become captive consumers of products that the ICC mandates through its "codes." The obscene proliferation of these codes also forces builders and everyone in the building and construction industry to comply with an ever increasing time-consuming bureaucracy. More bureaucrats and more training are needed to ensure they consistently interpret the codes.
Just like the ICC, 4 members of the Gilbert Town Council have morphed into facilitators of Big Government tyranny. When you watch them reason and justify their rationales, they "sound nice." But what exactly are they doing? They are pushing centralized government. They do not trust the citizenry.
Their actions prove that they do not care about the damage they are doing to families and homeowners who are forced to pay thousands of dollars more than necessary for their homes. They do not care about the grief these codes have caused self-employed citizens who work in the construction industry who must adhere to these mandates. They do not understand Free Market principles. They reject the notion that these people are experts in their fields. They do not care that many of them have closed their businesses. They reject clear evidence that the Free Market reacts quickly to changing conditions, and that it’s the government-imposed codes that are slow to change.
Gilbert Watch has reported on the ICC codes for months. Gilbert citizens and self-employed business people have been emailing and speaking out to the Council for months. They have been meeting with Town Staff, and supplying tons of research.
At the Nov. 7 meeting, there were 6 citizens who spoke in opposition; 24 citizens had sent letters; there were 19 citizens in the audience who were in opposition but did not speak; and 16 people who were in opposition who submitted their names to a list. That’s 65 citizens documented in the Minutes of the meeting. And it doesn’t count more citizens who showed up to the meeting.
The Council gave more credence to the representative from the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce, the representative from the Small Business Alliance, and the representative from SRP (Salt River Project). In fact, I doubt seriously if the members of these organizations have much first-hand experience dealing with these onerous codes.
There was one citizen who spoke in favor of all the codes, including the Green and Energy Codes. A quick search revealed that he’s a Democrat and a member of Sierra Club.
Here is the Motion that Passed:
A MOTION was made by Vice Mayor Cooper, seconded by Councilmember Ray, to adopt the proposed Building and Construction Regulations Code of the Town of Gilbert, Arizona 2013 edition, and the 2012 editions of the International Building Code, International Residential Code, International Mechanical Code, International Plumbing Code, International Fuel Gas Code, International Fire Code, the 2011 National Electric Code, the 2013 Code for the Enforced Removal and Abatement of Prohibited Conditions, and the Arizonan with Disabilities Act, all as amended by the Building and Construction Regulations Code of the Town of Gilbert, Arizona 2013 edition; while specifically excluding for further review by the select advisory ?strike team? and subsequent recommendations to the Council, the following codes and all proposed Gilbert amendments thereto: the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code, the 2012 International Green Construction Code, and chapter 11 of the 2012 International Residential Code.
Leader of the Opposition Responds
After this disappointing vote, Rusdon Ray sent the following email to those who have been fighting with him against these codes:
"For those who have not heard, On November 7th 2013, The Gilbert Town Council passed the 2012 family of International ICC Building codes (largest increase in regulation on private property and the Building Industry in the history of Gilbert) with a 4 – 3 vote, while at the same time postponing the vote on the Energy and Green Code to a later date.
Council Members in Favor of the 2012 ICC Codes
Mayor John Lewis
Vice Mayor Ben Cooper
Council Members opposed to the new 2012 ICC Codes
We have been debating a whole range of thoughts. What could we have done more to stop the largest increase in regulation on private property and the Building Industry? What did we do wrong? How could we have made the points more clear? How could we have encouraged more support and professional opinions to the Council than we did?
We have come to the conclusion that we did all we could up to this point. Thanks to the Town Council for listening thoughtfully and to everyday citizens for voicing their opinion. We are confident our message in opposition to the 2012 ICC codes could not have been more clear to the Council. Even if the review process was lengthened out, the vote of the Town Council most likely would have turned out the same. We are thankful and acknowledge that we have been heard and that Town Council made their choice knowing more about the ICC codes than can be expected. Most of the Council members and citizens alike knew very little if anything about the ICC codes less than a year ago or even where they came from. It is true that the process Gilbert facilitated for the discussion on the ICC Codes is unheard of anywhere in the Country. This process and vote surely will be remembered."
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