It's sad to get that kind of push-back from the code side. In the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast there is a much more cordial relationship. I'm now retired but I remember that the WSSC (Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission) provided speakers several times at the Baltimore and Washington, DC ASPE Chapter meetings and they were always well attended. Here in Virginia folks from the State Building Codes Office speak at chapter meetings to inform engineers of upcoming code changes. VPMIA (Virginia Plumbing and Mechanical Inspectors Association) welcomes engineers to its twice-yearly training meetings and indeed a few engineers are usually in attendance. I remember the same thing occurring in North Carolina.
It makes a lot of sense for engineers to have relationships with code officials and vice versa. Both groups of folks are, like the old poster stated, trying to "Protect the health of a nation" and should endeavor to communicate at every opportunity.