TECHNICAL COMMITTEE NEWS
What's up with Facilities and Grounds
Karen D. Bloodworth
Technical Services Program Manager
APWA Kansas City Office
The APWA Facilities and Grounds Technical Committee has been actively pursuing a number of interesting initiatives on behalf of their industry colleagues, one of which is urban forestry. Previous APWA Congress sessions on this subject have been very well attended, and last November's Click, Listen & Learn program entitled "Innovative Ideas for Sidewalk Management" ranked among the top in number of sites participating. Earlier this month APWA conducted an interview with the Director of Urban Community Forestry at the U.S. Forest Service, Mark Buscaino, to discuss programs and resources available to public works departments. The results of that interview are detailed on page 48 in this issue.
Recently committee members held a discussion about the three most critical issues facing public facilities and grounds managers. The topics will be used to drive the coming year's work plan. Budget issues and reorganization continue to be of great concern. Members commented that agencies are having difficulty raising property taxes and new fees are not welcomed; however, the cost of doing business is continuing to rise. Agencies and departments have to rethink all strategies and business plans, and more and more we must learn from our associations, agencies and industry colleagues about successful programs, outcomes and best practices. Here are the three key issues identified by the Facilities and Grounds Committee.
The Facilities and Grounds Committee has also completed the research and planning for three industry technical sessions for the 2005 International Public Works Congress and Exposition. Members of APWA that have a responsibility for facility or grounds management should expect to receive a personal e-mail invitation from the committee that will detail a comprehensive list of sessions related to facilities and grounds management. Below is a sneak preview of the titles and descriptions for technical sessions that the committee has prepared.
Public officials are under ever-increasing pressure to reduce local tax levies; they are very focused on results and want to ensure that departments are strategic in meeting the business needs of the city. Facilities and grounds officials must tell their story and demonstrate how they support the goals and objectives of the city and public officials. The presentation will illustrate the many ways that a facilities and grounds department can utilize proven concepts to demonstrate and market the value and benefit of their services to public officials and/or the administration.
|Members of the Facilities and Grounds Committee at the Atlanta Congress. From left to right, standing: Clarence Wright, Venu Gupta, Larry Frevert, Gene Moore, Karen Bloodworth, and Dwight Riggle. Front row: Michele Ohmes, Hildo Hernandez and Maddie, Michele's service dog.|
The Facilities and Grounds Committee supports outside alliances and continues to research joint projects and value-added initiatives with other professional associations and state and federal groups. We are currently working with the Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) on their credentialing program (see page 46), and with the International Facility Managers Association (IFMA) to identify joint projects that provide additional resources for public facility managers.
Your APWA Facilities and Grounds Technical Committee is committed to increasing the value of services delivered to our citizens, while growing industry knowledge, information sharing and professionalism. We welcome your input and invite you contact us with questions, suggestions for future Congress programs, APWA Reporter articles or publications. Contact information for the committee members can be found at www.apwa.net or you can reach Karen Bloodworth, staff liaison, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (800) 848-APWA.