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NYCSRA Hosts Legislative, Regulatory and Political Update

“We’re three years old now,” said NYCSRA President John Pantanelli with pride as he welcomed all to the Association’s Legislative, Regulatory and Political Update at the 2017 Industry Discussion Event and Dinner held April 19 at Club 101 in New York City.

He reminded the members and guests of the organization’s continuing goal: to ensure that all have a voice concerning the industry rules and regulations decreed by the City.

Jim Quent of Statewide Public Affairs then took to the podium to speak of his role as an advocate seeking legislation that is more supportive and less damaging to the membership. Said Jim, “You can’t be there every day, so I’m there to voice your concerns. That’s my job on your behalf. We need everyone to be more engaged.” He urged increased involvement by all, speaking of the “rules of engagement,” and asked the audience to stay informed. "Learning about the laws and regulations impacting the industry will", said Jim, “help you have the best outcome.”

He reviewed an agenda that touched on the 2018 Mayoral and City Council elections - DeBlasio is predicted to be re-elected, the NYC Council has 51 open seats including the Housing and Buildings Committee; and the Construction Safety Act that has a changed Site Safety Plan with increased penalties and a union bill requiring an apprenticeship program.

Guest speaker Michelle Perez, Northeast Territory Manager for Gladding, McBean, then delved into architectural terra cotta applications, its uses and methods of manufacturing.

Terra cotta is baked earth, clay that is mined and mixed with grog, "the secret sauce," a pre-fired material that is ground down to stabilize shrinkage. The result is a substance that becomes malleable and able to create all from façades to columns, arches, cornices and multiple forms of ornamentation.

Pointing out that “choices have consequences,” she compared clay to cementitious materials in terms of firing temperatures, clay’s ability to expand vs. the shrinkage of concrete which can allow moisture to infiltrate control joints. She detailed the steps involved in preparing clay through pressing, glazing, firing and an extensive quality control process, pointing out the longevity, durability and versatility of terra cotta.

The evening’s final guest speaker was Jared Knowles, Director of Preservation for the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Mr. Knowles noted that the NYC office is the nation’s largest municipal regulatory preservation agency overseeing more than 36,000 properties. Landmark sites “represent the City’s heritage,” and augment the Big Apple in multiple ways including enhancing tourist attractions, fostering civic pride, stabilizing property values, and strengthening the economy.

As the Commission’s goal is to “preserve and protect” and bring the City’s heritage to life, he noted that the office includes 11 commissioners and approximately 70 preservationists, researchers, architects, historians, attorneys, archaeologists, and administrative employees.

Speaking of the LPC’s extensive work in preservation, research, enforcement and archaeology, he noted that the Commission issues 14,000 permits a year and that some are fast-tracked to expedite the restoration process.

For more information on the NYC Special Riggers Association, please visit

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