September 30, 2005

SAHBA Deflects Defective Construction

The September 2005 SAHBA Blueprint Magazine has several articles that deserve further investigation.

"How to Deflect Construction Defects"

We are alarmed that SAHBA is endorsing ways to get around poor construction by using insurance. The article, written by Bob Kirk, president of the Southeastern Arizona Contractors Association is titled "How to Deflect Construction Defects"! Not "How to keep Construction Defects from Happening" or "How to Correct Construction Defects" - No it's "How to Deflect Construction Defects." A more apt headline would be - "How to Shirk your Construction Defect Responsibilities with Insurance" Once again the 'inmates are running the insane asylum". You can see the article for yourself above.

Rather than take the high road and demand that members build with integrity, SAHBA/SACA laments the proliferation of "allegations of construction defects." They point out that the deluge of construction defect lawsuits filed has caused an increase in builders risk insurance rates. Well duh! If you advocate bad builders, if your builders use inexperienced help with untrained supervisors, if you don't care what your members do - An increase in poor construction is bound to happen. What other recourse does the owner of a defective home have?

It is yet another example of why a SAHBA builder certification means nothing. It means they are well insured when your home has defects. It means it will cost you thousands and thousands to fight the insurance company's lawyers. It happened to us. Our "SAHBA Certified Custom Home Builder", LJ McCreary of McCreary Homes, did the same thing. He had tons of insurance and he used State Farm's attorneys to run us into the ground. Unlike their slick advertising claims, State Farm was not a "good neighbor" to us... Despite agreeing that our home was flawed and defective, they spent more fighting us than it would have cost to correct the defects. Good Neighbor? Hardly, State Farm was more like the neighborhood bully.

"SAHBA & Construction Education"

In an article written by Alex J`acome, Government Affairs, it is pointed out that there will be a "shortfall of 26,000 qualified people in the trades" over the next 5 years. He also indicates that "Construction schedules are already in crisis". This is not a new problem. Our house had several delays because of staffing problems and drywall that was poorly installed because of inept workers. SAHBA thinks that an education program is the answer and we would agree that the construction workforce needs education. Our concern lies in the transient nature of construction. After spending tax payer monies educating these folks - how is SAHBA insuring that they stay in the local area? How is SAHBA addressing the immediate needs of the building community? We are sure (and news reports back up) that contractors are streaming into hurricane stricken communities. How many contractors have left Tucson to work in the South? How many homes in Tucson will suffer because less qualified people will be put on projects?

In this same article J`acome also informs us that SAHBA is pushing for legislation that allows contractors more latitude in funding school construction contracts. SAHBA wants contractors to be able to charge the State for materials increases. This proposed legislation would seem fair if there was also a provision that made the contractor return monies if the materials prices fell. We will write the legislators listed; Senators Tim Bee-(R) and Toni Hellon-(R) and Representative (and former SAHBA lobbyist) Jonathan Paton-(R) and encourage that such a provision be added It seems only fair that if the taxpayer is going to be responsible for either bad bidding or unforeseen supply price hikes, we should also be able to reap the benefits of reduced pricing. Of course there would need to be oversight of such a program in order to insure that the taxpayer is not being screwed. We encourage you to write to the legislature with your opinion on this as well. .

We wonder if SAHBA is still paying Rep. Paton to promote their dirty work. Is it not problematic that at the State level, a former corporate whore (lobbyist) has been converted to a political prostitute (Representative) and is now advocating the special interest agenda of corporations in lieu of representing the people? Once again, the best democracy that money can buy!

11th Annual Carnival de Golfe Charity Golf Tournament

A SAHBA member recently told us that there is plenty of discord amongst SAHBA members and their leadership. Rumor has it that the committee for the Carnival de Golfe Charity Golf Tournament was overruled by the Executive Board when they voted to deny charity funding to the C-Path Institute.

For those of you who don't know what the C-Path Institute is, it is a "non-profit organization formed to facilitate collaboration among the University of Arizona, SRO International and the Food and Drug Administration." Its mission is to "foster research and educational programs that will enable the FDA and the pharmaceutical industry to accelerate the development of safe innovative new medicines." That's right, it is a non-profit arm of the U of A and drug companies.

One has to wonder if this is some kind of tax write off strategy that is being orchestrated by the pharmaceutical companies. If you recall, the drug companies will be extorting (no price controls) the American public for close to 1 trillion, we repeat 1 trillion dollars under the Medicare Prescription Drug Program. Is it any wonder that the FDA, who is in bed with the drug companies, would like to accelerate the "new" drug approval process? Ahhh . . . corporate/government corruption . . . the sound of money, Cha-Ching!

Now the other groups that the Golf Tournament supports make sense. The Brandi Fenton Memorial Park (SAHBA member AF Sterling 's President is the father of Brandi), The Hearth Foundation - a shelter for homeless women with children, Habitat for Humanity and Youth on Their Own. All of these other worthy programs have ties to homes and family. However, the C-Path Institute (which is already being supported with a $400,000 grant and promised 9 million in donations) at first glance would seem to be out of place. It isn't until you get to the last page of their mission statement that you find the tie - "With continued success of C-Path, it is expected that the State of Arizona will be asked to construct a new facility for the C-Path and an adjoining research facility for SRI in a proposed Biotech park near the University of Arizona campus." Who better to build a new facility for the State than a SAHBA builder? Why would the executive board tick off members by overruling them? Why did the committee think that this donation was not worthy? Some members are hopping mad and they aren't being very quiet. Maybe we should be listening closely. What are the ties between the UofA and SAHBA? Does the UofA not care about the credibility of their partners? Why would a group of builders support drug companies? Follow the money. It leads in a direction that even SAHBA members didn't support.

US HOME and SAHBA earn AROC Honors

Dumbfounded. That's what we are. How can the Arizona Register of Contractors (AROC) honor US Home for their charity event when a check of US Home's license shows that their record for the last two years (remember that's as long as complaints are shown) shows 21 complaints, 19 of which were resolved/settled/or withdrawn, 1 that is currently open, and 1 that resulted in disciplinary action. Perhaps US Home does charity events to change their image? Surely there must have been a better company to highlight. And in that same light, why is the AROC honoring builders? It is supposed to be the industry watch dog, the consumer's line of defense. In light of the recent national exposure of cronyism and corruption, perhaps the AROC should be investigated to see if their relationship with the various builders' associations crosses the line. AROC leader Israel Torres needs to realign his priorities - is he a cheerleader or a consumer advocate? Seems to us that to try and be both creates a conflict of interest. Once again - the AROC is too close to SAHBA and their members.


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Additional Information : (This information may not include all applicable suspensions.)
     BANKRUPTCY FILED 4/15/91 CHPT 11 (91-B-11625) DP REC'D 4/23/91
     SUSP 4/22/98-LIFTED 5/5/98 (97-2961);QP RESIGN DP 3/23/05


STE # 110
TEMPE , AZ 85283

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License Issue Date:  9/ 8/1986     Renewed Date:  8/31/2005     Renewed Thru:  8/31/2007

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Position:  EMPLOYEE

Date Qualified:  5/13/2005

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     KNEE DAVID EUGENE ,  RESIGNED QP ,  11/22/2004


     ZYLKA JOE HENRY ,  RESIGNED QP ,  1/25/1989



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