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Board Meeting Minutes

November 1, 2007
At The Westin Emerald Plaza Hotel,
400 West Broadway, San Diego, California 92101

Call to Order

Board Chair Jim Miller called the meeting of the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) to order on November 1, 2007 at 9:00 a.m. at the Westin Emerald Plaza Hotel in San Diego. 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    
Bob Brown    
Matthew Kelly    
Louise Kirkbride    
Robert Lamb    
Ed Lang    
Stephen Matich    
Bernedette Medrano    
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   Carlos Marquez, Enforcement
Don Chang, Legal Counsel (DCA)   Rick Lopes, Public Affairs
Karen Ollinger, Licensing   Michael Brown, Legislation
Amy Cox-O'Farrell, Info. Technology    
Chair's Remarks and Board Member Comments

Board Chair Jim Miller welcomed everyone to the San Diego meeting and recognized Department of Consumer Affairs Director Carrie Lopez who was in the audience. Mr. Miller made comments regarding the Southern California fires and commended the firefighters for their outstanding and quick response to this disaster. He also praised the CSLB staff for their efforts to assist the victims.

Chief of Public Affairs Rick Lopes gave the Board a PowerPoint presentation on the Southern California fires. He explained where the fires have been burning and reported that Local Assistance Centers have been opened for the fire victims. CSLB has had staff available to give the victims educational information and answer their questions at each of the Southern California centers. Board Members who visited the fire sites shared their input and experience. Chief of Enforcement David Fogt reported that sting operations to protect the consumer from unlicensed contractors were taking place in the fire damaged areas.

Registrar Steve Sands introduced Bob Ilko who represented Scripps Ranch Civic Association. Mr. Ilko explained how his association helped displaced fire victims and organized recoveries.

Chief of Public Affairs Rick Lopes showed a video of the October 24, 2007,Today Show. Mr. Lopes represented the Contractors State License Board as he was interviewed on the Today Show. He answered questions regarding unlicensed contractors and how consumers can protect themselves.

Presentation for Paul Greenwood, San Diego Deputy District Attorney

Board Chair Jim Miller recognized and presented a Plaque of Appreciation to San Diego's Deputy District Attorney Paul Greenwood. Mr. Greenwood specializes in elder abuse cases and has been instrumental in obtaining criminal convictions from Contractors State License Board referrals for many years. He has been dedicated to protecting the elderly who have been victimized and has been a pioneer in charging residential burglary against unlicensed contractors who take money from victims in their homes.

Public Comment Session

There was public comment from Brandon Ebeling, a consumer. Mr. Ebeling stated that consumers depend on the Board to protect them from unlicensed and licensed contractors. He had issues regarding the CSLB Website and the notification of licenses that are being or have been revoked.

Mindy Mitchell, a consumer, told the Board that she was a victim of a licensed contractor. Chief of Enforcement David Fogt has been working with Ms. Mitchell on her case.

Mike Caples, owner of a construction publication named "Contractor News," informed the Board that he has established a free informational workshop to assist the San Diego area fire victims with the rebuilding process. The workshop is called "San Diego Rebuilds" and will be held on November 16 in Escondido.

Bryan Weaver, an attorney who represents contractors, told the Board that he will also be involved in the "San Diego Rebuilds" workshop. Mr. Weaver's focus is to educate contractors and encourage the licensed contractor to help expose the unlicensed activity that occurs in their areas.

Approval of the August 3, 2007 Board Meeting Minutes

MOTION:  A motion was made by Matt Kelly to approve the August 3, 2007 Board Meeting Minutes. A second was made by Eddie Barnes. Motion was carried 12-0.

Industry Update

Registrar Steve Sands introduced the following speakers from Industry.

Sam Abdulaziz, an attorney, briefed the Board regarding construction industry contracts, arbitration awards, and public works contracts.

Phil Vermeulen, a legislative lobbyist, gave the Board an overview of the 2007 Legislative Session. He reported that the biggest impact on the industry in 2007 dealt with the Air Resources Board. New off-road diesel regulations have been passed and will affect the heavy equipment used throughout California. In the past, Mr. Vermeulen has worked with Chief of Legislation Mike Brown on consumer-related legislation.

Rick Pires, Marketing Director of Basic Crafts, gave an overview of the Workers' Compensation Alternative Dispute Resolution Program. This program resolves disputes within specific time frames while minimizing the need for legal representation.

Bruce Dunn, owner of Mission Pools, gave the Board an overview of the Swimming Pool Industry.

Note: At this time Board Member Cindy Mitchell left the Board Meeting due to a prior commitment.

Legislative Committee Report

Update on Board-Sponsored Bills

Legislative Committee Chair Stephen Matich provided an overview of the Assembly and Senate bills listed in the Board Packet.

Consideration of Legislative Proposals

Chief of Legislation Mike Brown reviewed the proposals listed in the Board Packet. The Legislative proposals under consideration are for Owner/Builder Permits, License Bonds, and a CSLB Voluntary Arbitration Program.

MOTION:  A motion was made by Eddie Barnes to accept the Legislative Proposals. A second was made by Bob Lamb. Motion was carried 11-0.

Enforcement Committee Report

Enforcement Committee Chair Ed Lang gave an overview of the Enforcement Committee Report. During the meeting, Enforcement Committee Member Cindy Mitchell proposed that an unlicensed summit with industry associations be scheduled to let industry know how they can assist CSLB in combating the underground economy.

Committee Recommendation to Schedule an Industry Summit

MOTION:  A motion was made by Eddie Barnes to schedule an Industry Summit. A second was made by John O'Rourke. Motion was carried 11-0.

Approval of the October 16, 2007 Enforcement Committee Report

MOTION:  A motion was made by Eddie Barnes to approve the October 16, 2007 Enforcement Committee Report. A second was made by Bob Lamb. Motion was carried 11-0.

Enforcement Program Update

Chief of Enforcement David Fogt presented the Enforcement Update. Mr. Fogt reviewed the charts in the Board Packet. He also reported on sting operations, complaint-handling statistics, partnerships with local police departments, district attorney offices, and the Franchise Tax Board.

Licensing Committee Report

Licensing Committee Chair Eddie Barnes provided an overview of the Licensing Committee Report.

Approval of the October 12, 2007 Licensing Committee Report

MOTION:  A motion was made by Bob Lamb to approve the October 12, 2007 Licensing Committee Report. A second was made by Don Zampa. Motion was carried 11-0.

Licensing Program Update

Chief of Licensing Karen Ollinger gave an overview of the Licensing Program and reviewed the licensing charts in the Board Packet.

Testing Division Update

Registrar Steve Sands updated the Board. The new test administration system, SCORE, has been successfully implemented at all eight testing centers. The Norwalk and San Bernardino Testing Centers are under construction to expand their size. The completion date is estimated to be January 2008.

Approval of Recommendation Regarding General Liability Insurance

Committee Chair Eddie Barnes informed the Board that the Licensing Committee recommended that the full Board refer this issue to the Communication and Education Committee for review of existing Board publications, and to research and develop ways to provide additional information to consumers and contractors on the necessity of General Liability Insurance coverage.

MOTION:  A motion was made by Matt Kelly to approve the recommendation regarding General Liability Insurance. A second was made by John O'Rourke. Motion was carried 11-0.

Communication & Education Committee Report

Communication & Education Committee Chair Bob Lamb provided an overview of the Communication & Education Committee Report.

Approval of the October 16, 2007 Communication & Education Committee Report

MOTION:  A motion was made by Eddie Barnes to approve the October 16, 2007 Communication & Education Committee Report. A second was made by Don Zampa. Motion was carried 11-0.

Public Affairs Program Update

Chief of Public Affairs Rick Lopes updated the Board. The Public Affairs Office continued its policy of distributing press releases to the media, especially enforcement actions and undercover sting operations. The PAO distributed 10 press releases between August and October.

The PAO has completed work with an outside vendor to produce a 12-minute video. The video, titled "CSLB: Construction Protection," is an overview of how the Board accomplishes its mission to protect California consumers. PAO has ordered 1,000 copies of the video, which will be distributed to legislators, new employees, and industry groups.

Approval of Recommendation to Name CSLB Hearing Room After John C. Hall

Committee Chair Bob Lamb briefed the Board regarding John Hall. John Hall was appointed to the Contractors State License Board in November 2000 by then Assembly Speaker Robert Herzberg. Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez reappointed him for a second four-year term in May 2004. He passed away on February 25, 2006, after suffering a heart attack. While on the Board, Mr. Hall served as Chair of the Legislative Committee and Enforcement Committee. In 2004 he was elected Board Secretary and in 2005 he was elected Vice Chair.

Proposal: A motion was passed by the Communication & Education Committee at its October 16, 2007 meeting to change the name of the CSLB Hearing Room to the "John C. Hall Hearing Room."

MOTION:  A motion was made by John O'Rourke to name the CSLB Hearing Room after John C. Hall. A second was made by Don Zampa. Motion was carried 11-0.

Executive Committee Report

Executive Committee Chair Jim Miller presented a brief overview of the Executive Committee Report.

Approval of the October 9, 2007 Executive Committee Report

MOTION:  A motion was made by Bob Lamb to approve the October 9, 2007 Executive Committee Report. A second was made by Don Zampa. Motion was carried 11-0.

Administrative and Information Technology Program Update

Chief Deputy Registrar Denise Brown updated the Board on the Administrative Program. Ms. Brown reported that CSLB is continuing to work on its Succession Plan. Also, examinations are being conducted for Enforcement Representative I and CEA-Level 1 for the Public Affairs Office.

There are currently 31 vacant positions at the Board. Ms. Brown reviewed the budget charts in the Board Packet.

Chief of Information Technology Division Amy Cox-O'Farrell updated the Board regarding Information Technology. The existing mainframe printers were replaced with new printers and design software. The CSLB's Website is being prepared for the automation of the Complaint Form, the Most Wanted List, and the Construction Protection Video to be shown on the Website.

Discussion Regarding Reporting Methodologies and Metrics

Registrar Steve Sands led the discussion regarding reporting methodologies and metrics. He asked the Board Members how they wanted the Board Packets to look and what they wanted to have listed on future Board Meeting Agendas.

Review of 2007 Strategic Plan Action Plan Update

Mr. Sands referred to the Strategic Plan Update in the Board Packet and asked the Board Members if they wanted to make any changes. No changes were made.


Review of Tentative Schedule

Mr. Miller announced that the next CSLB Board Meeting will be held in San Jose at the Doubletree Hotel on February 7, 2008.

Meeting Adjourned

The Board Meeting adjourned at 12:45 p.m.

 

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