The 2019 Legislative Session is finished. While there was no legislative action that specifically relates to the regulation of inspectors, the Agency Sunset Bill passed, which deals directly with the regulatory authority of this Agency. Several other bills that impact the licensing authority of all regulatory agencies also passed. The Agency is determining what rules need to be recommended, some of which will likely come before the Inspector Committee at its July 15 meeting.
From the Desk
The Commission met for its regular quarterly business meeting on Monday, May 6th and we had a full agenda. It was my very first meeting presiding as the newly appointed and confirmed Chair, so it was quite an experience getting prepared in the very short period after my confirmation on April 24th. At this meeting, we also welcomed two new Commissioners who were confirmed on May 1st - Barbara Russell of Denton and Chief Deputy Sherriff Jason Hartgraves of Dallas County.
I am thrilled to be able to lead with some great news – because of enhanced staffing, improved training, real-time flexibility in response management, and more precise phone system programming we’ve employed, in recent weeks the average hold times for calls received by the agency’s contact center are under five minutes! Also, the average for all of April was about five and a half minutes, so we are still improving. Our goal is to keep doing so methodically and sustainably.
The Inspector Committee had a full agenda for its April meeting. The meeting was accompanied by the newest appointments to the Inspector Committee, as well as the incoming General Counsel for the Real Estate Commission, Chelsea Buchholtz. There was also significant representation from multiple trade associations and education providers as well.
I would like to begin by publically welcoming the three new members to the Inspector Committee, who were appointed in February. Mike Morgan of Brownwood was appointed as a new inspector member, to serve a six-year term, and Robert John Daehn of Aransas Pass and Dave Motley of Garland were appointed as public members to serve two-year terms. In addition, Lee Warren was reappointed to another six-year inspector term and public member Barbara Evans was reappointed for an additional two-year term. I want like thank all of the inspectors who took the time to submit their applications.
Even without a legislative session, April is always a very busy month. So this year, that is especially true with our agency focused on the final steps of the Sunset review process as well. We greatly appreciate the anticipated improvements this process will bring to the services we provide to the people of Texas and the license holders we also serve. It has always been this agency’s policy to partner with our license holders in order to better serve their clients, the ultimate objective of both the profession itself and our regulatory efforts.
Due to the amount of business we needed to conduct to both meet our obligations to advance the normal work of the Commission, and consider all of the matters highlighted in the agency’s Sunset Report, the Commission met for two days in February. The Texas REALTORS Winter Meeting overlapped our dates, so we had several extra stakeholders in attendance – and they earned CE credit for attending!
The IAC has been busy already this year. Through a substantial amount of time and hard work, the Education Subcommittee has proposed, and the IAC approved recommending changes to how one can obtain a license in Texas. Texas has had some of the strictest requirements for licensure of any state in the union. The proposed number of hours to be eligible for a license will go down significantly, but the content of those courses will change as well. Keep in mind that the intent here is not to lower the standards by any means. The focus here is on the quality of the education, and not the qua
The Inspector Committee met on February 4. Among the business items taken up by the Committee was the election of the Committee officers for the upcoming Calendar year. Lee Warren was elected as the chair of the Committee, Shawn Emerick was elected as vice-chair and Steven Rinehart was elected as secretary. I would like to thank the outgoing officers for their leadership over the last year. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank a longtime member of the Committee, Brad Phillips who has completed his second, and final term on the Committee.
So far, 2019 has offered Texas both very cold and very mild conditions – a bit unpredictable as this new year advances. Perhaps this corresponds to the unexpected combination of elements at work as the legislative session gets underway? New leadership in the House has opened up new possibilities for cooperation on advancing public policy issues – a situation we welcome and look forward to as the Sunset process holds the promise of developing new guidance on matters of concern to our agency.