It’s been a busy start of the year for the Commission. I traveled around the state in March as part of our Agency’s biennial strategic planning listening tour. This allowed me to receive input first hand from license holders across the state about issues that impact them directly. Tony Slagle, the agency’s inspector staff liaison visited a local chapter of an inspector trade association to discuss concerns and answer their questions. This is something staff is committed to doing more often. On April 2, the agency held its 2nd Annual Residential Realty Summit in Austin.
From the Desk
The Inspector Committee met on Monday, February 26 at the agency headquarters in Austin. On the agenda was the election of officers for the upcoming year. I was reelected as the Chair of the Committee and am honored to serve again in this capacity. Lee Warren was reelected as Vice-chair and Brad Phillips was reelected as Secretary. I am committed, as I am sure all members of the Committee are, to continue to do my very best to keep the Committee moving forward and to remain open all viewpoints as we make important recommendations to the Commission.
The Commission held its regular quarterly business meeting on Monday February 12th during the Texas Association of REALTORS Winter meeting in Austin, and we offered real estate continuing education (CE) hours for attendance, so we had a number of extra license holders join us that day. The Commissioners re-elected Commissioner Arriaga as Vice-Chair and Commissioner TJ Turner as Secretary for the next 12 months.
As the next Commission meeting on Monday February 12th rapidly approaches, there are several issues that loom large and we need to emphasize. First, this is our year for both strategic planning and rule review, so we will be discussing opportunities to remove any identified barriers or red tape that hinders or slows the licensing process without providing clear and commensurate consumer protections.
Happy New Year! It’s January and 2018 promises to be filled with important activity. Even numbered years are always a time when the agency must update our 5-Year Strategic Plan and so that means we will have some significant opportunities for additional targeted input from our license holders and the public on general topics and specific areas of current interest. Look for a list of topics and a schedule of Listening Tour events to be published in February.
The Commission met on November 13th for its regular quarterly meeting and it was one of the most productive – and lengthy – that we have had for many years. Despite its length, we recognized recent accomplishments and achieved some major milestones that we have been working on for over two years. We began by ratifying a very generous set of accommodations implemented in response to the unprecedented impact of Hurricane Harvey. Up to six full months of deadline extensions are available to those who really need them in the 60 counties declared as a Disaster Area by Governor Abbo
The Inspector Committee met in Austin on October 9th and for the first time, the meeting was available to be viewed online in real time. This allowed license holders and members of the public to view the meeting live. This was an initial test run to see if streaming the meeting will be practical. No decision has yet been made about future streaming as TREC staff is continuing to explore options.
The new fiscal year started on September 1 and it has already been an eventful year. Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast at the end of August and caused unprecedented damage and disruption to those persons living and doing business in that part of the state. In recognition of the hardship caused by Hurricane Harvey, the Commission extended licensing and renewal deadlines statewide for all license holders and applicants with August and September deadlines until October 31, 2017.
October has just concluded and November is here. This is always an exciting time with the World Series (How about those Astros!?), Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos, and the beginning of deer hunting season in Texas. October 31 also closes our State Employee Charitable Campaign month, with new highs reached each year for generosity by our team members.
The full Inspector Committee met on Monday, July 17. On the agenda was a discussion of the pros and cons of continuing to exempt certain education providers from TREC licensure requirements (22 TAC 353.71 and 22 TAC 535.218).