From the Government Studio, General

If you are a Duck…

By Jim Nielson, AIA, LEED® AP. Jim is a Senior Principal at CRSA and a member of the Utah House of Representatives.

A Northrup Grumman official once explained the firm’s award-winning initiative to provide employment for disabled veterans this way:

“If you are a duck, you tend to hire ducks.”

True. As an Oregon Duck myself, I am partial to U of O graduates. But I agree, we should not hire only ducks.

In architecture, we know intuitively how different backgrounds and points of view combine to help us see beyond our own perspective and build something better. Continue reading

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From the Government Studio

First, Do No Harm (Part 4)

Unintended Consequences

Utah Capitol and FlagJim Nielson, AIA, is a Senior Principal with CRSA and a Utah State Representative. First, Do No Harm is a series of posts about how what happens on Utah’s Capitol Hill affects public, business, and personal budgets. This final post reviews the difficulty of tracing the outcome of decisions accurately and emphasizes the need to be aware of the consequences.

 

Missed a Part?

Whenever governments or other groups set out as a group to accomplish something, the challenge usually is not so much putting a policy in place and mobilizing resources as it is ensuring that what we do actually accomplishes the objective.

We work together in government and organized groups to accomplish what no one could do individually. What I’ve noticed as a participant in government Continue reading

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From the Government Studio

First, Do No Harm (Part 3)

Taxation, Appropriations, Efficiencies (and Domestic Horse Disposal)

Jim Nielson Swearing InJim Nielson, AIA, is a Senior Principal with CRSA and a Utah State Representative. First, Do No Harm is a series of posts about how what happens on Utah’s Capitol Hill affects public, business, and personal budgets. This segment continues to look at new legislation and analyzes its consequences on both our business and personal pocketbooks.

Missed a Part?

Revenue and Taxation

In a more traditional sense, actions by government affect both sides of the public ledger. Some policy decisions, such as taxation and appropriations, modify the ledger directly; others such as economic development incentives and mandates (as discussed in my last post) change things indirectly.
Continue reading

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From the Government Studio

First, Do No Harm (Part 2)


Construction, Incentives and Mandates

Jim Nielson, AIA, is a Senior Principal with CRSA and a Utah State Representative. First, Do No Harm is a series of posts about how what happens on Utah’s Capitol Hill affects public, business, and personal budgets. In this segment, we look at some of the laws passed in 2014 that may impact all of our financial health. This includes legislation that affects the A/E Industry, as well as broader changes.Patriotic Pumpkin

Missed a Part?

 

Construction

We in the design and construction industry see the legislature’s impact on our bottom line quite directly. When the legislature funds and authorizes public construction projects, RFPs for design and construction services follow almost immediately. Earlier this year the Utah Legislature gave the green light to around $200 million in public construction. For many firms, fees from such projects make up a significant part of their annual revenues. Continue reading

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From the Government Studio

First, Do No Harm (Part 1)

Public Policy and our Pocketbooks

Representative Jim NielsonJim Nielson, AIA, is a Senior Principal with CRSA and a Utah State Representative. First, Do No Harm is a series of posts about how what happens on Utah’s Capitol Hill affects public, business, and personal budgets. This segment sets the stage, and will be followed by a look at specific laws passed in the 2014 session.

Years before I decided on architecture school, my first thought was an MBA. As I was deciding, I worked initially as a management analyst for a large defense contractor. Shortly thereafter, I served for several years as a policy analyst at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington. Continue reading

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