Have I overlooked something, or is the public and the infrastructure still there as I look out the office window? Is this same public still demanding a better public infrastructure service than 10 or 20 years ago?
There are still people providing this service. But the level of debate would make you think that the public had vanished overnight, depriving the municipal engineer of a market. This is not the case.
The debate boils down to whether the people providing these services are strictly 'municipal engineers'. As they are still 'engineering' and we are arriving at the same, or better, outcome as years gone by why should they not be classed as such? Planners, environmental health professionals and others also have a valid contribution to make.
But in multi-service departments there can only be one leader and it is up to individuals to equip themselves for this role. There are ample opportunities out there; it is up to individuals to pursue them.
Young municipal engineers don't despair - you are in a growth industry with a declining workforce, this is your time to come to the fore.
Jim Valentine CEng FICE St Johns House Stanley Perthshire PH14ND