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Board Meeting Minutes

November 16, 2006
At the Anaheim Marriott Hotel,
700 West Convention Way, Anaheim, California 92802

Call to Order

Board Chair Matt Kelly called the meeting of the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) to order on November 16, 2006 at 9:00 a.m. at the Anaheim Marriott Hotel in Anaheim. A quorum was established.

Board Secretary Don Zampa led the Board in the Pledge of Allegiance. Board members, staff, and members of the audience introduced themselves.

Board Members Present: Board Members Excused:
Paul Baldacci Larry Booth
Eddie Barnes Robert Brown
Matthew Kelly Cynthia Mitchell
Louise Kirkbride Stephen Matich
Robert Lamb
Bernedette Medrano
James Miller
John O'Rourke
Donald Zampa
     
CSLB Staff Present:
Stephen Sands, Registrar David Fogt, Enforcement
Denise Brown, Chief Deputy Registrar Peter Sugar, Enforcement
Maureen Abbott, Executive Assistant Rick Lopes, Public Affairs
Don Chang, Legal Counsel (DCA) Karen Ollinger, Licensing
Michael Brown, Legislation Bob Porter, Testing
Jonathan Buttle, Administration


Chair's Remarks and Board Member Comments

Board Chair Matt Kelly welcomed everyone to the Anaheim meeting.

New Board Member Bernedette Medrano was welcomed to the Board by Matt Kelly. She was appointed by the Governor and is the Executive Director at the Santa Ana Education Foundation.

Public Comment Session

There were public comments from Jody Costello, Contractors from Hell website. She had suggestions regarding CSLB's data base and how to make it more user friendly for consumers.

Rosario Marin, Secretary of the State and Consumer Services Agency, commended CSLB on its work and also thanked the Board on behalf of the Governor.

Kim Saylors, consumer, had suggestions on how to help protect the consumer before the consumer applies for an owner/builder permit.

Antonette Sorrick, DCA's Deputy Director of Board Relations, thanked the Board and staff for a job well done regarding the submission of the Emergency Preparedness Plan. She also welcomed the new Board Member Bernedette Medrano to the Board.

Karen Smith, Director of Arbitration Mediation Conciliation Center(AMCC) which runs the arbitration program for CSLB, gave a brief overview of this program.

Board Chair Matt Kelly presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Donald Kass who is the Supervising City Attorney from the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office. Mr. Kass and his dedicated staff in the Corruption, Fraud, and Enforcement Unit have worked closely with CSLB's Enforcement Unit to protect the consumer. Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo was also recognized for his dedication, determination, and effectiveness in protecting Los Angeles consumers by working with CSLB to prosecute unlicensed individuals whose illegal contracting activities have harmed consumers. Mr. Kass then spoke to the Board and thanked the Board and staff for their coordinated work with Los Angeles.

Mr. Kelly presented past Board Member Jake Shirvanian with a framed California Senate Resolution from Senator Liz Figueroa. Mr. Shirvanian has served on various state boards since 1968. He was commended on his long and distinguished record of state service and given best wishes for a rewarding and active retirement.

Approval of the September 13, 2006 Board Meeting Minutes

MOTION: A motion was made by Eddie Barnes to approve the September 13, 2006 Board Meeting Minutes. A second was made by Robert Lamb. Motion was carried 9-0.

Legislative Committee Report

Chief of Legislation Mike Brown gave the Board a brief overview of the Legislative Committee Meeting which was held November 15. The meeting addressed clean-up and technical proposals which dealt with operative dates that had already passed and amendments to sections to clarify certain issues. Many of the amendments were related to enforcement. Mr. Brown also reviewed the Legislative Proposals which were listed in the packet.

Approval of the November 15, 2006 Legislative Committee Meeting Report

MOTION: A motion was made by Eddie Barnes to approve the November 15, 2006 Legislative Committee Meeting Report. A second was made by Robert Lamb. Motion was carried 9-0.

Approval of Legislative Proposals

MOTION: A motion was made by Don Zampa to approve the Legislative Proposals. A second was made by Eddie Barnes. Motion was carried 9-0.

Executive Committee Report

Administration and Information Technology Program Update

Chief Deputy Registrar Denise Brown presented this program update. She praised Chief of IT Amy Cox O'Farrell for her outstanding efforts to complete and submit CSLB's COOP/COG extensive report to DCA by the deadline.

As of November 1 there were 25 vacant positions, half of which were in the Licensing Division. Now that testing has been completed and lists have been established, Chief of Licensing Karen Ollinger will begin interviews to fill those vacant positions.

CSLB continues to work with the Department of Consumer Affairs on various alternatives to resolve the ongoing salary issue between the Enforcement Supervisors and the Enforcement Representatives. The Enforcement Supervisors are taking home less money than the Enforcement Representatives they supervise. This has caused recruitment and retention problems.

The Information Technology staff is in the process of updating our current systems and replacing old printers with new ones. The E-mail system, Interactive Voice Response system (IVR), and the Image Workflow Automation system have all been updated.

Budget Briefing

Budget Analyst Jonathan Buttle briefed the Board and reviewed the budget charts in the packet. Of the 2006/07 $51.6 million net appropriation, the Board has spent $13.9 million which is about 27%. Mr. Buttle also reported that CSLB's three 2007/08 Budget Change Proposals (BCPs) have been approved by the Department of Finance for inclusion in the 2007 Governor's Budget. CSLB is scheduled to receive 3 Program Technician positions for the Licensing Division (Fingerprinting); 5 Office Technician positions for the Examination Center; and 13 Program Technician positions for the Licensing Division to help provide permanent staffing for processing applications.

Review of 2006 Strategic Plan and Strategic Planning Process

Registrar Steve Sands and the Board discussed how they would prepare the next strategic plan. It was decided that discussions would take place at the next Executive Committee Meeting to decide the strategic goals and objectives. This information could then be presented at the May Board Meeting for the Board to approve a plan. CSLB's mission is to protect consumers by regulating the construction industry through policies that promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the public in matters relating to construction.

Enforcement Committee Report

Enforcement Program Update

Chief of Enforcement David Fogt gave his report. The enforcement stings, which usually involve arresting unlicensed contractors, are also arresting revoked licensees who show up to bid on the jobs.

The Enforcement Division's efforts in partnering with other agencies have been most helpful in catching unlicensed contractors who also have criminal records. On November 1 the LA City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo held a press conference to announce the launching of phase two in their joint effort with CSLB to crackdown on unlicensed contractors. Since implementation of the program, the LA City Attorney's Office has worked with CSLB to file 53 criminal cases against unlicensed contractors.

Increased production has reduced the inventory of statewide pending complaints by approximately 31%. Mr. Fogt reviewed the charts and graphs in the packet. He also reported that the Outreach Program has conducted training for over 30 building departments throughout the State during 2006. The training has been a huge success with building officials from other jurisdictions requesting training for their staffs as well.

Board Member Paul Baldacci commended David Fogt on his professionalism and sting efforts.

Review of 2005/06 Annual Statistical Report (SB1953)

David Fogt updated the Board. Budget Analyst Jonathan Buttle and Enforcement Manager Peter Sugar prepared the report which was mandated by SB 1953. A copy of the report was in the packet and it was sent to the Legislature at the end of September.

Licensing Committee Report

Licensing Program Update

Licensing Committee Chair Eddie Barnes presented the report and reviewed the various charts in the packet. License transaction processing times are at acceptable levels. Overtime, temporary help, and redirection of staff continues to be utilized when necessary. Effective January 1, 2007, Assembly Bill 881 requires that all active licensees holding the C-39 Roofing Classification have a current Certification of Workers' Compensation on file with CSLB. This certification is not required for inactive licenses.

Also effective January 1, 2007, contractor's bonds and bonds of qualifying individuals will increase to $12,500.

Testing Division Update

Chief of Testing Bob Porter informed the Board that as of November 1 the waiting time for an examination date was 15 weeks for applicants who test in San Bernardino. Waiting times in other test centers vary from 3 to 9 weeks. Steps have been taken to permanently reduce the waiting time to 3 weeks statewide. The San Jose Testing Center expansion project was to have been completed in November, but problems with the electrical boxes in the floor have been found. The opening of the San Jose Center will reduce the waiting time for exams throughout Northern California.

The temporary Norwalk Testing Center's lease will be up in mid-December which means the exam waiting lists will increase until the new Norwalk Test Center is completed. The date for completion which was originally set for July 2006 is now July 2007.

Licensing Information Center Update

Chief of Licensing Karen Ollinger updated the Board. The Licensing Information Center (LIC) is open Monday through Friday with the busiest days being Mondays and Tuesdays. Ms. Ollinger reviewed the charts in the packet that show the wait times in the LIC have increased. The goal is to get the wait times down as soon as possible. Some factors contributing to the longer wait times are the high occurrence of workers' compensation claims, staff absences and vacations, and ongoing vacancies. Management has been working to fill the vacancies as quickly as possible.

Review of Criminal Background Unit and Fingerprinting Process

Chief of Licensing Karen Ollinger reported that a BCP to increase staffing in the Criminal Background Unit had been approved. Three Program Technicians will be hired effective fiscal year 2007/08. The handling of the incoming applications and processing is done on a triage basis. The ones cleared first are those applicants with no convictions and those with minor clearable convictions.

Ms. Ollinger is working with Peter Sugar and David Fogt in an effort to work out some resolution regarding the increased costs for the Attorney General's processing of application denials. Half of the applicants who are denied a license appeal CSLB's decision and request a hearing. This process takes time and money and in the end the applicant usually does not win his case. Therefore, CSLB is developing policies and procedures to make the program faster and cheaper.

Communication & Education Committee Report

Communication & Education Committee Chair Louise Kirkbride asked for the Board's approval of the October 30 Communication & Education Committee Report. She also stated that she encourages the CSLB staff to think outside the box and try new, creative ways of reaching and educating the public before they hire a contractor to work on their homes.

Approval of the October 30, 2006 Communication & Education Committee Report

MOTION: A motion was made by Eddie Barnes to approve the October 30, 2006 Communication & Education Committee Report. A second was made by Matt Kelly. Motion was carried 9-0.

Public Affairs Program Update

Chief of Public Affairs Rick Lopes presented his report to the Board. The Public Affairs Office provides a wide range of services which includes media and advertising campaigns, responses to media inquiries, community outreach, publication and newsletter development/distribution, and contractor education. Four media events (Pismo Beach, Visalia, Montrose, and West Sacramento) were conducted to publicize undercover operations and the dangers of hiring unlicensed contractors.

The PAO is currently working to establish partnerships with two different media organizations. KGO Radio in San Francisco and KOVR-TV in Sacramento. KGO Radio would help the Board publicize important tips for consumers to follow when hiring a contractor along with their rights. KOVR-TV would invite Board staff to appear as guests on newscasts to promote Board publications and team up for outreach events.

CSLB's website is being updated to add new features. These changes will make it easier for the public to navigate the website and find the services they need. The PAO has also updated more than two dozen publications.

Review of Tentative Schedule

Matt Kelly announced that the next CSLB Board Meeting is scheduled to be held in Emeryville at the Holiday Inn Hotel on February 9, 2007.

Meeting Adjourned

The Board Meeting adjourned at 12:05 p.m.

 

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