The Ohio legislature’s Sunset Review Committee is considering combining the Architects and Landscape Architect’s Boards. The Committee took testimony Feb. 9 from the Executive Director for both groups, Amy Kobe.   She testified that, “There are two boards, with one budget, one website, one set of forms, and one staff, operating out of the same office in the Riffe Center. As many administrative processes as possible are integrated together, providing for the seamless operation of the two boards.” However, there are two boards for policy considerations. A total of 8,026 individuals and exam candidates and 1,669 firms with active licenses are regulated by the boards.

The boards are self-funded, thus requiring no GRF funding. The FY16 budget is $507,614. Each board has five members, appointed by the governor.  She said that effectively the two Boards are combined. As a result, there would be “no significant savings in personnel” were they to formally combine. Kobe said having to combine the professional expertise might result in longer board meetings with board members compensated by the hour.

Via testimony to the Sunset Review Panel, AIA Ohio’s Immediate Past President and Liason to the Ohio Architects Board, Jim Sarks, AIA said, “AIA strongly supports the concept of single discipline boards to license architects. We do not believe that members of either group possess the requisite knowledge to render informed decisions regarding the subtleties of the other profession.  Their scopes of practice are dissimilar in many ways.  We believe that only architects are qualified to make decisions in matters of professional responsibility or in matters related to public health, safety and welfare.”