Professional Engineers as Elected Local Officials

by Kenneth R. Wright, (F.ASCE), City Councilman; Boulder, Colo.; Pres., Wright Water Engrs., Inc.; Part., Wright-McLaughlin Engrs., Denver, Colo.,
Douglas T. Sovern, (M.ASCE), City Councilman; Englewood, Colo.; Assoc. and Sr. Engr., Wright-McLaughlin Engrs., Denver, Colo.,

Serial Information: Engineering Issues: Journal of Professional Activities, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 4, Pg. 447-456

Document Type: Journal Paper


Professional engineers can contribute to society through the political process of serving in local government. It is not always easy, frustrations are common, and it is time consuming, but the learning process is valuable. Cities need consulting engineers, but the role of the planner must be properly recognized. The time perspective, i.e., short versus long-term can affect a legislator's viewpoint on issues, including land use. Zoning changes are time consuming and can be abused. Taxes, regionalism, public works, and natural resources are only a few of the areas of special knowledge for the engineer in public office. The many issues with which the elected official deals makes his entire public office experience an especially satisfying one, and one from which the engineer will gain.

Subject Headings: Consulting services | Infrastructure | Professional development | Political factors | Local government | Legislation | Zoning | Taxation

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