Cracking the Code

If the rules are passed, they'll almost certainly be challenged in the courts, racking up enormous, unnecessary public legal bills. If they're sent back to the commission, there's hope for creating, albeit in the eleventh hour, a more democratic, fairly managed approach to the plumbing code.

Someone--the commission, DEQ, the cities and counties--needs to ask the Legislature for money to fund staff for the commission and an independent economic impact study. PIPE's membership has an economic interest in the final product here, and it's not appropriate for them to fund the study.

And Governor Hull needs to show some leadership. Her only power in this case is in appointments. Six commission positions expire in January, and Hull has the opportunity to make some wise choices in naming replacements without aid from PIPE.

Ironically, the appointments will likely be made by Stuart Goodman, the former Glendale lobbyist who predicted that Symington would stack the Uniform Plumbing Code Commission with PIPE picks. Now Goodman handles regulatory issues for Hull.

Although Hull's hands are tied until January 19, when she can name her six members, Goodman has been involved behind the scenes. When the attorney general recently opined that the PIPE-funded economic impact statement isn't illegal, Goodman fired off a letter to PIPE's attorney:

". . . Given your client's dominant influence on the Commission, the Governor remains concerned that the Commission's decision to adopt the economic impact statement will be vulnerable to allegations of predetermined decision-making, as well as the pursuit of economic self-interest made on behalf of the plumbing industry."

Looks as though the Hull administration could plug up PIPE's works.

Contact Amy Silverman at her online address: asilverman@newtimes.com

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