By Karl Keith
The first week in March is recognized annually as National Weights and Measures Week. It serves as a reminder that fairness and equity in the marketplace exist in large part due to the efforts of inspectors who work behind the scenes to enforce uniform standards of measurement.
Most of us usually take it for granted when we shop, but determining the accurate weight or volume of an object for sale is fundamental to a sound and healthy marketplace.
Montgomery County employs three full-time weights and measures inspectors with a combined total of 53 years of experience. These inspectors are the invisible third-party to each commercial transaction that takes place between buyers and sellers everyday.
In 2011, our inspectors tested and certified the accuracy of more than 1,800 scales and 5,300 gas pumps, drawing samples that totaled over 26,500 gallons of gas. Additionally, they conducted pricing verification tests at 472 retailers, verifying prices on more than 30,000 individual items.
Recently, our chief inspector, Vicky Dempsey, was awarded the prestigious Contributions Award by the National Conference on Weights and Measures. This award is given to individuals who have made notable contributions to weights and measures standards and policy both locally and nationally.
Vicky served on the NCWM Laws and Regulations Committee from 2002 through 2008, chairing the committee twice. Additionally, she was chair of the Central Weights and Measures Association in 2005 and has served as their secretary/treasurer since 2006.
Montgomery County’s chief inspector for more than 19 years, Vicky Dempsey’s leadership and expertise enables our weights and measures program to keep pace with innovations in technology and marketing practices. We are proud of her achievements.