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Board Meeting Minutes

August 3, 2007
At CSLB Headquarters in Sacramento,
9821 Business Park Drive, Sacramento, California 95827

Call to Order

Board Chair Jim Miller called the meeting of the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) to order on August 3, 2007 at 9:00 a.m. at CSLB Headquarters in Sacramento. A quorum was established.

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

Board Members Present: Board Members Excused:
Eddie Barnes   Bernedette Medrano
Bob Brown    
Matthew Kelly    
Louise Kirkbride    
Robert Lamb    
Ed Lang    
Stephen Matich    
James Miller    
Cynthia Mitchell    
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)   Pamela Mares, Public Affairs
Jonathan Buttle, Administration   Karen Ollinger, Licensing
Michael Brown, Legislation   Betsy Figueira, Licensing
Amy Cox-O'Farrell, Info. Technology   Heidi Lincer-Hill, Testing
Melanie Bedwell, Public Affairs    
Chair's Remarks and Board Member Comments

Board Chair Jim Miller welcomed everyone to the Sacramento meeting. Mr. Miller also recognized and thanked Past Chair Matt Kelly on behalf of the entire Board for his leadership and accomplishment of many goals while he was Board Chair last year.

Mr. Miller announced that the Board's Annual Evaluation of Registrar Stephen Sands was completed. Mr. Sands received an "outstanding rating" for his excellent job as Registrar.

Public Comment Session

Attorney Jack Davis addressed the Board regarding SB569 and its impact on CSLB. The overall purpose of this bill is to improve the enforcement of the prevailing wage law. The bill would require the CSLB to establish a data base on its Website for the posting of all public works projects in the state. Mr. Davis wanted the Board's unconditional support of this bill. Chief of Legislation Mike Brown told Mr. Davis that the Board had voted to "support this bill in concept". After further discussion, Board Chair Jim Miller asked Mr. Davis to work with CSLB's Legislative Committee.

Kurt Cooknick, American Institute of Architects California Council, told the Board that he will be working with CSLB to develop an informational bulletin on consumer protection from unlicensed contractors.

A special presentation was given to thank the Enforcement Division's SWIFT (Statewide Investigative Fraud Team) for their outstanding work protecting the home owners in Lake Tahoe after the Angora fire. Enforcement Committee Chair Ed Lang also praised SWIFT for providing assistance, educating affected homeowners, and establishing effective partnerships with local, state, and federal agencies to assist the victims.

Chief of Public Affairs Rick Lopes showed several news videos which reported on the Angora fire and CSLB's sting operations in Lake Tahoe.

Approval of the May 10, 2007 Board Meeting Minutes

MOTION:  A motion was made by Eddie Barnes to approve the May 10, 2007 Board Meeting Minutes. A second was made by John O'Rourke. Motion was carried 11-0.

Legislative Committee Report

Update on Board-Sponsored Bills

Legislative Committee Chair Steve Matich provided an overview of bills that the Board has sponsored (AB243, AB455, AB456, SB354, and SB797).

Approval of Recommended Positions on Other Legislation

Chief of Legislation Mike Brown updated the Board on AB785 which will enforce energy standards and regulations. CSLB staff has worked with the author's office to amend the bill. The amendments would act as constructive notice to the industry relative to the importance of complying with the energy regulations, while conforming to the operations inherent to the CSLB mission and enforcement capabilities.

MOTION:  A motion was made by Matt Kelly to adopt a "neutral position" on AB785. A second was made by Steve Matich. Motion was carried 11-0.

Mr. Brown reviewed the other bills in the packet and their recommended positions ("oppose", "support", and "watch").

Executive Committee Report

Executive Committee Chair Jim Miller presented an overview of the Executive Committee Meeting held on June 28, 2007.

Approval of the June 28, 2007 Executive Committee Meeting Report

MOTION:  A motion was made by John O'Rourke to approve the June 28, 2007 Executive Committee Report. A second was made by Matt Kelly. Motion was carried 11-0.

Administrative and Information Technology Program Update

Chief Deputy Registrar Denise Brown updated the Board on the Administrative Program. CSLB is working on succession planning. It is anticipated that 44.7% of the Board's employees are currently eligible to retire.

As a result of the Risk Assessment Project, card reader access devices have been installed in the cashier's office, the front counter, the file room, the entrances to SWIFT and the Call Center, and the testing server room. Security surveillance cameras have been installed at key exit and entrance points within the headquarters building. Also, laptop security devices have been purchased.

Personnel is currently interviewing and filling the 16 new Program Technician positions and 5 new Office Technician positions which CSLB received as a result of the approved Budget Change Proposals.

Chief of Information Technology Division Amy Cox-O'Farrell updated the Board. The mainframe printers, which are used for mass printing, have been replaced. Each processing unit will have new printers and software, which will allow the printing of mainframe documents on the network printers.

Phase I of the Website Project is being completed. The new site is expected to be launched in 6 weeks. Phase II project tasks are currently being developed.

Budget Briefing

Budget Analyst Jonathan Buttle reviewed and explained the budget charts in the packet to the Board.

Approval of the Revised 2007 Strategic Plan

MOTION:  A motion was made by Eddie Barnes to approve the revised 2007 Strategic Plan. A second was made by Don Zampa. Motion was carried 11-0.

Mr. Sands recommended to the Board that there be a Board Meeting in early February of 2008, a Strategic Planning/Board Meeting in April of 2008, and a Board Meeting in June of 2008. The Board will be surveyed as to what dates they would be available to attend these meetings.

Enforcement Committee Report

Enforcement Committee Chair Ed Lang reported on the First Annual CSLB Elder Abuse Investigative Training Seminar. This new conference was conducted by the Enforcement Staff and the purpose of this conference was to establish a working relationship with the various enforcement agencies and to fight fraud and abuse against the elderly.

Enforcement Program Update

Chief of Enforcement David Fogt presented the Enforcement Update. He reviewed the complaint handling statistics in the packet, and the charts and graphs. The Enforcement Division has 15 vacant positions and is in the process of filling these positions.

The Case Management Offices in Sacramento and Norwalk had a record year for Mandatory Settlement Conferences and Alternate Dispute Resolution Mediations. Case Management has completed 485 settlement conferences. As a result of these conferences, 403 cases did not go to a formal Administrative Hearing.

Between May 1 and June 30, the SWIFT staff conducted a total of 10 stings and 11 sweeps. Many of those operations were joint operations with partner agencies which included the Department of Insurance and the Employment Development Department. On June 25-26, the SWIFT staff joined Enforcement representatives from participating EEEC Agencies for the 3rd Annual Economic & Employment Coalition Training Conference held in Sacramento.

Review of Unlicensed Consultant Action Plan

Mr. Fogt explained the proposed action plan to the Board. Staff met with the California Building Officials to discuss a legislative proposal to revise the Owner-Builder Information and Declaration form, which is required when applying for a permit. Proposed revisions would simplify the document's language, explaining that a homeowner hiring an unlicensed contractor is subject to employer tax and workers' compensation insurance requirements under the Labor Code, and requiring that the owner personally complete and return specified permit documents.

Review of Consumer Satisfaction Survey: 2006 Complaint Closures

Enforcement Manager Peter Sugar presented a PowerPoint Presentation, showing the history of the Consumer Satisfaction Surveys and their relationship to the nature of the complaint closure.

Testing Manager Heidi Lincer-Hill reported on the 2006 Consumer Satisfaction Survey results. The survey showed a slight increase in the overall satisfaction by consumers that used CSLB services to handle their complaints against contractors. The overall satisfaction average increased from 63.63% in 2005, to 65% in 2006.

Licensing Committee Report

Licensing Committee Chair Eddie Barnes provided an overview of the Licensing Committee Meeting held on June 19, 2007.

Approval of the June 19, 2007 Licensing Committee Meeting Report

MOTION:  A motion was made by John O'Rourke to approve the June 19, 2007 Licensing Committee Report. A second was made by Matt Kelly. Motion was carried 11-0.

Licensing Program Update

Chief of Licensing Karen Ollinger updated the Board. Ms. Ollinger reviewed the charts and graphs in the packet. License transaction processing times are monitored on a weekly basis. Overtime, temporary help, and redirection of staff continues to be utilized to keep processing times at acceptable levels. Ms. Ollinger gave an overview of the Call Center's progress.

Licensing Manager Betsy Figueira from the Criminal Background Unit presented the Fingerprinting update. The application backlog has been reduced from 5 ½ months to 6 weeks. Ms. Figueira explained the Fingerprint Application Process to the Board.

As of June 1, changes in the process for the mailing of Live Scan Fingerprint Packages were implemented. The Live Scan documents are now sent in a separate mailing after the completed application has been accepted by the Board.

Testing Division Update

Testing Manager Heidi Lincer-Hill updated the Board. The waiting times at the test centers are 3 to 4 weeks. The new test administration system, SCORE, has been successfully implemented at the Oakland, San Jose, Oxnard, and San Diego test centers. All the test centers will have SCORE by the end of 2007.

The Budget Change Proposal was approved to fund 5 additional Test Monitor positions for the 2007/08 fiscal year.

Communication & Education Committee Report

Communication/Education Committee Chair Bob Lamb reported on the July 16, 2007 Communication & Education Committee Meeting which was held in Oakland.

Approval of the July 16, 2007 Communication & Education Committee Meeting Report

MOTION:  A motion was made by John O'Rourke to approve the July 16, 2007 Communication & Education Committee Report. A second was made by Bob Brown. Motion was carried 11-0.

Public Affairs Program Update

Chief of Public Affairs Rick Lopes updated the Board. Mr. Lopes and his staff have had over 90 media inquiries between May and July. The Public Affairs Office is in the process of coordinating coverage of CSLB's Enforcement operations for an hour-long program being produced by NBC News Productions. The show will feature operations by the CSLB's Statewide Investigative Fraud Team, combating unlicensed operators and the underground economy. Two undercover sting operations and one sweep operation have been videotaped.

The Public Affairs Office (PAO) is currently at full staff. The PAO distributes monthly "Ask the Board" articles to newspapers around California. The articles are also available in the Spanish language.

Update on Lake Tahoe Wild Fire Response

The PAO has worked closely with the Enforcement Division to coordinate efforts to maximize outreach efforts in the Lake Tahoe (Angora) wildfire area. Multiple press releases have been distributed, one press event has been conducted, and dozens of yard signs have been posted throughout the fire zone. The work has resulted in extensive coverage of CSLB's efforts and has also helped get word out to fire victims to help protect them from becoming victims a second time.

A partnership with the City of South Lake Tahoe has been established to broadcast CSLB's video titled "Doing It Right: Hiring a Licensed Contractor". In addition, the PAO will be the lead agency to coordinate outreach for the Governor's Economic and Employment Enforcement Coalition for its efforts in the fire zone.

Update on Website

The Website is in the final phase. The IT Division is working toward a November date for the Website to meet the State's new look-and-feel standard. The IT and PAO Divisions are working to develop a Strategic Plan for CSLB's Web efforts. This includes the development of a stand-alone Web Unit. The IT Division will also develop a contract to get assistance in future Website work.

Review of Tentative Schedule

Mr. Miller announced that the next Board Meeting will be held at the Westin Emerald Plaza Hotel in San Diego on November 1.

Meeting Adjourned

The Board Meeting adjourned at 11:45 a.m.


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