President's Message - Summer 2022

Posted July 15, 2022

Dear Members,

It is truly an honor to serve as your President of the PHCC LI Chapter! Despite challenges over the past few years, our organization has continued to get more involved in our community, build our membership, and promote our brand. We would like to thank past president Don Conway for his passion and dedication to our chapter. As president, Don did a great job of moving our organization forward, making his ambitious agenda a reality, and promoting the PHCC. He led our organization throughout the early days and height of the pandemic, and for this we are grateful. We are excited to welcome our new executive board, and I am thrilled to serve as the current president of PHCC of Long Island. 

Earlier in 2021, the PHCC of Long Island continued to navigate challenges posed by COVID-19. Thankfully, we maintained a strong presence in our community by holding virtual membership meetings, and keeping our members up to date with essential industry updates. I am pleased to share that we resumed in-person meetings and events and continue to do so. Our efforts in the first quarter were largely concentrated on our March 2, 2022, assembly where we discussed the pressing issue of Senate Bill 6843A and companion legislation Assembly Bill 8431. This pending legislation is also known as the all-electric act and bans the installation of gas boilers in all new construction starting in 2023. This presents serious issues for plumbers, and we are determined to do our part in making our opposition to this pending legislation known. 

Our rally saw over 100 attendees including political guests Congressman Tom Suozzi, Senator Mario Mattera’s Chief of Staff Robert Caroppoli, and Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer. We also received support from the association. PHCC speakers included PHCC National Vice President Joe Cornetta, Director of Legislative Affairs Mark Valentini, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Chuck White, and New York State and New Jersey National Zone Director Don Powers. National Grid representatives attended and presented as well, and it was an overall highly informative and lively event. All attendees were reminded to continue sending letters to the state opposing the all-electric act and supporting the fuel choice bill.

Another issue we are facing is licensing reciprocity issues. There was a Tri Town Agreement established years ago that allowed plumbers in the Town of Hempstead, Town of North Hempstead, and the Town of Oyster Bay to work in all three towns provided they had a license in at least one of the Towns. Plumbers throughout these Towns are now finding that the agreement is not being honored as written. Lack of adherence to this agreement is damaging to the industry and presents an unnecessary challenge to plumbers in already difficult times. We have requested meetings with the Towns to revisit this issue in the hope that the Tri Town Agreement can be recognized equally by all three Towns and implemented fairly.

The PHCC of Long Island partnered with the Rescuing Families Inc., a non-profit organization that seeks to renovate homes for people in extenuating circumstances who may not have the financial means for essential repairs. Our chapter prides itself on service, and members of PHCC of Long Island are honored to have helped Rescuing Families Inc. with two projects in 2021. We completed another project in 2022 and hope to maintain our relationship with this worthy organization.  

Our Trade Show on  May 19th was a great success. It was wonderful to have the first Trade Show since 2019, and it was truly a joy to see so many of our members gather for a night of learning. Al Schimanski once again led an invaluable session on New York State Code Updates, and we are grateful to him and his time. 

In conclusion, we are looking forward to continuing this prosperous year filled with activism for the betterment of our industry. We will continue to promote our organization, and set the example for our industry.

Thank you,
John Bifolco
PHCC President