SBOA Report — Winter 2016

SBOA Report — Winter 2016

JCorkill_croppedJohn F. Corkill Jr., AIA
Director, MD State Board Liaison

The State Board of Architects has two new staff members:

Iris Beasley is the new SBOA Secretary, who will take minutes and distribute documents that need review and signing, and who very importantly, will be the voice of the SBOA to the profession. She will be the first person most rising professionals will talk to as they pursue registration. She will therefore be asked about countless terms of architectural and National Council of Architectural Registration Boards’ jargon, about how the time can be shortened for registration, and how they can get a break from taking all these tests. As her predecessors found, some of the requests she receives will be easy and some impossible to grant. However, since Ms. Beasley formerly served the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation in the Home Improvement Section, she is well-accustomed to dealing with the public, a public that is sometimes irate.

Steve Long is the new Executive Director for the SBOA and for the other four design boards. He has previously served DLLR in the Real Estate area, with 40,000 registered agents. So the numbers he will deal with are halved even as the quiet, unassuming nature of design professionals will make for a calm career, except on the rare occasion when some design professional is not quiet and unassuming.

James Bateman will continue as Assistant Executive Director for the five Design Boards.

The DLLR bade goodbye to the retiring Pam Edwards and Terry White with a celebration accompanied by honors and gifts with food sufficient to feed all the registered design professionals in the State. In the photograph (below) Commissioner emeritus Harry Loleas is presenting some of the many awards to Pam and Terry. In addition, the Secretary of DLLR, Hon. Kelly Schulz, received a letter from the President of AIA Maryland commending Pam and Terry for their work, and this letter was presented, as well.


The blizzard of 2016 cost the SBOA its January meeting, but the design professional pot continued to boil, despite the cold and snow.

Zealous Professional Engineers from several County Permit Review departments have been enabled by letters written by DLLR in the late 2000’s stating that the “County Official, and not the State of Maryland,” determines which design professional is permitted to perform which part of a building’s design. Empowered and emboldened by this interpretation which many lawyers feel is the reverse of State Law, Permit Engineers in Montgomery County have implied in a pamphlet intended for lay citizens who wish to build a church building that an Engineer must prepare an as-built drawing of any existing structure to be used or expanded by the aspiring church group. Incidentally, Professional Engineers are not certified by the State to design buildings for public occupancy.

AIA Potomac Valley is writing a letter to Montgomery County Permit Officials, reminding them that architects are qualified to do as-builts of buildings for public use.

In Prince George’s County, the Permit Engineers have suddenly gone against their own kind. They promulgated on the day before Christmas in a, “County Important Mandate” that Prince George’s County will not permit P.E.’s to sign and seal outside their discipline. The county will now review the vitae and experience presented by Professional Engineers and will make a list of those who qualify to design, say, heating systems, to insure that such engineers will not be permitted to do electrical design. Nor will structural engineers qualified in Prince George’s be allowed to design plumbing systems, and so forth.

Prince George’s County announced that “certain things had happened” but did not cite an actual injury to a citizen as a result of a design by an engineer not pre-qualified by Prince George’s County.

A number of Professional Engineers in private practice have questioned the judgment of the Prince George’s County’s, “County Important Mandate” in a string of email messages. Stay tuned to see how far the unanticipated consequences of the “County Officials are the final arbiter” doctrine of DLLR will go. Will we look for a County Certificate for doctors we visit, or hairdressers, or embalmers, up to now examined and certified by the State?

Further, with the 2015 US Supreme Court ruling in favor of the Shopping Mall Tooth Whiteners and against the Dentists of North Carolina on restraint of trade grounds, where does multiple layers of certification lead? Since in none of the cases where learned professionals are required to be certified by both County and State has danger or harm to the public been proved, could the monopoly granted to those professionals look to the courts like restraint of trade? Would the Maryland public be harmed if registered professionals were found to be in restraint of trade and their monopolies, whether granted by the State or a County, were revoked by a court? What about the registered design professionals, who would lose their monopolies?


SBOA Report — December 2015
SBOA Report — Fall 2015
SBOA Report — Summer 2015
SBOA Report — Winter/Spring 2015