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                        NYSSPE – Long Island Chapter

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Webinar - EJCLI 9-17-20 LIVE ETHICS WEBINAR - Thursday, September 17, 2020


Memorandum in Opposition

 (Update May 13, 2019)

RE:     Intro Res. No. 1312 – 2019

Proposed Suffolk County Charter Amendment by County Executive
Steven Bellone Eliminating Professional Engineering Qualification

Suffolk County Commissioner of Public Works


As a result of our Memorandum in Opposition crafted by NYSSPE Legal Counsel, Mark Kriss, NYSSPE was invited to speak at the DPW Legislative Committee on May 6, 2019.   Representatives of the Long Island chapter, Tom Petracca, PE and Andrew Haimes, PE addressed the committee sharing the views of both the chapter and the state societies.  The following statement was read by Mr. Haimes.

I am Andrew S. Haimes, P.E. and I am one of the past presidents of the New York State Society of Professional Engineers and past president of the Society’s Suffolk Chapter. NYSSPE represents the interests of the 25,000 licensees in New York State.
As stated in our memo dated 4/3/19, the society is strongly opposed to resolution 1312 that would allow the appointment of a non-licensed person as DPW Commissioner.
It is clear from the DPW Mission Statement and the County Charter that the DPW Commissioner is responsible for the supervision, and has the ultimate responsibility, for all the engineering done by the County, and for the County by consultants.  By State Education Law, this supervision of engineering and responsibility for engineering must be provided by a Licensed Professional Engineer. 
It is unrealistic, and even absurd, to think that a DPW Commissioner could effectively pass all of that engineering supervision and responsibility to others in the department.
The legislative intent of the bill is stated to broaden the qualifications for the consideration of potential candidates for DPW Commissioner.  What the bill actually accomplishes is to open the position to unqualified candidates.  There are approximately 25,000 licensed Professional Engineers in NYS.  Has the County reached out to them?  It may take a while, but I would think the County could find a licensed PE who can also handle the administrative duties required of a Commissioner.

As a result of our efforts, the motion to install a Non-PE in the role of DPW Commissioner has been tabled and the motion to amend the wording in the charter has also been tabled.

An article quoting Mr Haimes has been published in Newsday Online.  A link to the article is attached.  https://www.newsday.com/long-island/politics/spin-cycle/philip-berdolt-public-works-suffolk-1.30751700  

  The LI chapter of NYSSPE sends Congratulations to Louis D'Onofrio, PE for receiving the IEEE-LI Section Alex Gruenwald Award for Outstanding Leadership.   
  The Long Island Chapter of the New York State Society of Professional Engineers 

Upcoming EVENTS

                                                             February 23, 2015 
NYSSPE February 2015 Position Statement on
Design Build Budget Proposal


Good Afternoon Jaclyn, 

As we have received many questions from our members about the current Design Build legislation, therefore we have posted an updated position statement on our website, which was drafted by Mark C. Kriss, Esq., The New York State Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE) Legislative and Legal Counsel. 

The following is an introduction to the position statement which discusses the Design Build process with respect to both the private and public sector.

 Private Sector 

Design Build (an alternative project delivery methodology used in lieu of Design-Bid-Build) is permitted to be employed on private sector projects in New York State, provided that the scope of design services and the amount to be paid for such services is clearly set forth in a contract executed by the project owner, the contractor and the design professional. While many, particularly in the general contractor community, maintain that the use of a three-way contract is not required and that a general contractor can contract with a design professional on project owned by a third party, the NYS Education Department unequivocally maintains that this type of an arrangement runs afoul of the State Education Law and Rules governing the design professions. A design professional should consider the potential for professional disciplinary action (e.g. fee splitting and aiding and abetting the illegal practice of engineering) before participating in a Design Build project. 

Public Sector 

With regard to the public sector projects in 2011 legislation was enacted on a pilot basis to permit specially named state agencies to utilize Design Build. NYSSPE along with others in the design professional community, as well as the State Education Department, voiced concern regarding the failure of the 2011 legislation to expressly include quality assurance safeguards in the legislation. The original statute expired in early December 2014 (with an exemption for ongoing projects) and new legislation has been proposed by Governor Cuomo as part of his executive budget. The Society has issued, and broadly disseminated, a position statement which renews our concerns regarding the 2015 Governor’s Budget Proposal which proposes some amendments to the pilot program. A copy of the NYSSPE’s position statement is set forth below.  

(For additional information please consult the
NYSSPE website FAQ addressing Design Build.)

Click here to read our entire position statement.


Thank you,


Anthony Fasano, P.E., LEED AP, ACC
New York State Society of Professional Engineers
Executive Director


The New York State
Society of Professional Engineers
6 Airline Drive
Albany, New York 12205
Phone: 518-283-7490



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