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Being in the electric sign industry where government has a hand in everything we do and most of the time they circumcise (yes that word) our right to prosper and happiness. Here are two issues that make me nervous, and maybe everybody should be nervous too because I think when it comes to these issues with the make up composition of who's in these sign associations and the past omissions to act, or the positions they held/supported that would further regulate the industry we love and prevent us from continuing the work we love or make it a higher cost to us as well as the end users or consumers. I think title 24 is the biggest fraud and waste of time, it only drives up cost. We cannot keep conserving energy and keep rebuilding our electric components and appliances over and over again, try building another power plant or two instead. Everyone wants to come to California, DUH! I also agree with the firm stance of contractors license laws and agree with the moderate amount of regulation that they enforce for public safety and as well as protection of contractors as well as the consumer.. The first part http://www.signs.org/Newsroom/IndustryNews/IndustryNewsItem.aspx?NewsID=3042 One thing I've always said, what happens in the environmental whacko state of California which is the ground zero for the "Environmental Product & Safety" movement which starts here and creeps it's way east and beyond....you would figure most states and countries who don't want to bankrupt themselves and drive out large to small business's like this grand state has themselves would choose to ignore our government handling. Since the news just came out recently that Canada has exceeded in the middle class beyond our country because of lower taxes that they would continue to do what our country used to do before 15 years ago. So why follow standards California has created? To mix it in, International Sign Association is involved. That makes me nervous because they have hardly been on the right side of anything when it comes to energy and light source issues. Part II http://www.signs.org/Newsroom/IndustryNews/IndustryNewsItem.aspx?NewsID=3035 Like I said, I believe in moderate regulation not license stacked on top of license. I like our western states stance on contractors license laws. The fact that only a "licensed contractor can sub-contract". Not allowing an unlicensed contractor to sub-contract a license contractor. It's a headache, for the licensed contractor who has gone through all the proper channels who knows the trade, the codes, and the industry. It's a Headache for the consumer to allow a third party into the contract, someone who obviously does not know the industry (otherwise they would be licensed) which can only have a higher allowance for "screw up" which can result in the consumer getting screwed because they did not pay enough for the sign which can lead to delays or a improper/unsafe sign, the contractor from getting unpaid because the contract price was not high enough, or in causing issues where the licensed contractor is used as a "line of credit". The line of Credit is one of the biggest issues of our time. Instead of taking a position in helping what hurts our industry, and I'm talking about all these "Facility" companies who get involved in sign and lighting business who abuse our industry with illegal contracts which are not paid according to state guidelines and contractors licensing laws of 30 days, The International Sign Association should be leading the charge even against it's own membership composition and speaking out about National Sign & Service Companies abiding by the law and paying their subs...NO EXCUSES and start booting out the ones that do. These Illegal unlicensed companies who execute products and services in "subcontracting", The International Sign Association is now supporting this. Why? Maybe because their membership with unlicensed vinyl sticky companies is bigger and they think their "doing good" and leading the charge. Or, they just don't know better, hard to believe it's the latter but it wouldn't surprise me if it's the latter. Those are my light thoughts on this Throw Back Thursday Like I've said in the past, sometimes our leadership at times should just "do nothing" Maybe I'm wrong on these issues but it's hard to avoid what has happened and when nothing changes, well? I like the Governor of WI, but sometimes the best intentions of advisers can come back to haunt us down the road.
I'm all for making changes in your life, whether it's personal or perhaps a career change. But sometimes you have to wonder who it is that runs your industry, or the people who can influence changes in your industry. I've always had questions that for these trade groups that never got answered and always wondered the "why's" behind some important decisions or omissions to act that took place, and continue too. I've run into people who one day sold lift gates for commercial trucks then the next day their LED salesmen for a LED manufacturer telling me that LEDs are the best thing on the market in comparison to other light sources AND in all phases. When you ask a question in comparison to traditional light sources they haven't a clue but they may know more about their like competitors, or at least have those selling points that were handwritten down for them memorized. Maybe it's me, but I would feel a little better talking with a salesmen from someone with our or my background in "Signs". Sometimes the butt of the joke about shoddy sign installation is that one day the vinyl sticky guy became the electric sign installer that day for their company and we get new pics submitted into our Hall of Shame. But, at least that sticky guy has some sort of relationship to what he was doing and maybe he was able to make a better effort than say the lift-gate salesman would have been able to because at least the sticky guy who has seen signs before could at least better guess what needs to be done and make a better "best guess" effort. Ever look at the make or resume background on individuals of our Trade Associations and wonder "why" they are there and serve our industry? I'm not talking about the volunteer base made up of some of our finest men and women presently in the sign industry. I'm talking about the "core" employed group who pay themselves from the non-profit. Sometimes we see some wacky decisions being made and anyone in the sign industry asks "why?", why did they do that, or why did they stand and do nothing? Some of these longtime rhino's have backgrounds similar in comparison I just made to the lift-gate guy turned LED salesmen. We just had the International Sign Association gobble up all the other little sign associations like Pac-Man and I'm still NOT clearly understanding the "Why". I know what the selling point was. This was a decision made and pushed by the "core" association employed group rather than the volunteer base. The base still is not clear to this day but they went along with it anyway and a vote was pushed very fast to get this past before anyone could fully understand what they were voting on, sort of like healthcare (don't worry...we'll figure it out later). I mean, they hired an outside consultant to tell them how to push this along. I know that pic below that was made for a past thread involving the globalization or gobble up of our local associations is a bit extreme, or is it? If nothing else you could say it's metaphoric, maybe even call it a political cartoon that has a little humor to it. But both terms have an ounce of truth to it, otherwise it wouldn't fit. Do some of these Lift-Gate people from somewhere else have our industries intentions best at heart? Do they hold the same values and "traditions" of our industry at heart too? How can they, do they have that ability to turn that emotion on like a switch? Can you be a lift-gate salesmen one day and be in the sign industry and "know" our past traditions to shape a better tomorrow? Sometimes some very bad decisions get made which can effect us all. I don't know if a decision to act or omission made is there to kill a part of our trade IS made out of ignorance because their more or less acting on limited information which they deem legit (because it was lift-gate sales one day and signs the next), it can even be said that they become a puppet to the puppet master who is a large light source mfg who's intent is to sell their products over all others and thus get the trade association to help push legislation or stand down from legislation so that it will benefit their cause or business in the form of asking the government to pic a winner, or leave fewer option for the consumer. I get an accountant can be plugged into a sign industry position from a lift-gate industry, as well as a few other areas. But what about the big decisions? The ones that affect what you and I sell or produce? Even though some would like to commoditize what we do, and bastardize our industry by inserting, selling, plugging in whatever can make a quick buck. I think the hiring process for these positions need to be left for those within our industry, for those who have worked in the sticky department, to the guy who installs a pylon or wall sign, and everything in-between. Otherwise, why work for an association for a trade you have no experience in or find akin too? Aren't associations left for those who are involved in their own industry, or is it just a job? I've always been a firm believer that the best sign salesmen or women are the ones who have fabricated a sign and installed a sign. That's my belief, opinion and I'm sticking to it. Bullshitters are a dime a dozen, and we're not used car lot. We fabricate and install the best illuminated branding there is, most of time the sign becomes the hallmark and landmark, it's the face of a business. When they think of a business they don't quickly generate a thought of the retail shelves stocked with goods, or the bellhop or pool, they think of the sign lighting up on the street. Anyway, you're probably asking why you're even reading this thread, and what the purpose is. Why the hell did I start it? I did because I got wind that Rich Gottwald left the Vice Presidentship of the International Sign Association (Or maybe he's doing two jobs now like so many other concurrent association people) and became the CEO of the Pool and Spa Trade Association . No knock on him personally even though he still could/would not legitimately answer some important questions to some my "why" questions which almost heavily impacted our trades traditions. I just hope that he at least owns a spa in his backyard moving forward to his new position. But the news struck curiosity in me. I did some quick research and discovered he went from a plastic association guy to signs, to now pool and spa's. Some other high ranking association core group members also came from the plastic association group before the International Sign Association. Is this trade group one of the same perhaps? Again, I'm all for career change and sometimes people are all-stars no matter where they go. Sort of like gifted athletes, it doesn't matter what kind of ball you put in their hands their just naturally gifted so I can't speak in detail. I sincerely wish Mr. Gottwald the best and hope for whoever replaces him is someone who comes from a Electric Sign Background, and not someone who lobbies to the "Green" movement, or someone who has a marketing background from within their present ranks. I just genuinely want whoever can be the best fit to help our industry. Someone who has a good vision, and remembers our past, and holds our traditions best at heart. Someone who can take into account what the rhino volunteer base has to say, have the knowledge to debate them and make an educated, industry based decision on that. I want someone who's not looking with the intent to stand around and let a bill pass that affects our industry just so they can get the association to turn that new regulation into a program to sell to our industry. Maybe it's just wishful thinking.....just my open aired thought for this Tuesday
Why is it that every Sign Association is filled with a bunch of "Do Nothings" who are regurgitates/throwbacks from one Sign Association after the other??? Or serving in multiple Associations at once???? They pride themselves in turning government regulation into a profitable program for themselves for all to assimilate to INSTEAD of doing what's right for the industry they represent, AND fighting it! Are they all from France??? Seriously! Who is DUMB enough to spend money to PROVE they are green???? I thought it was just a MARKETING term to throw out at the ignorant public all to sell a good or service? NOW it really exists??? I'd like to have one DEFINE Green, what makes you Green? Compared to? U.L.-E or U.L. - Environment, It's such a failed program where even the UL inspectors don't even want part in, or even understand it!!!. Are the ice caps melting or not? It the earth warming or cooling??? Can man shift nature???? We just discovered the scientist that claimed polar bears were dying because of man made global warming was lying the whole time, and now he's in federal custody for fraud. So what is it? Now we NEED mythical studies to study a myth??? An this our Associations cozy up too? Is this the reason why they are against the new Office of Government Ethics proposed law???? (Stay tune for this one in a separate thread) I will never buy a UL-E product because I know I will have to pay more to do so, all costs get passed down. KNowing Green is the new communist red I will buy from their competition who doesn't use Marketing statements, (something that is executed and never explained) The latest is California Sign Associations proud announcement of UL Green Leaf listing. Expect more since the Sign Hugger is in charge with more Marketing barrages and a stick of broccoli in mouth. http://www.calsign.o...s/ul/index.html