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Board Meeting Minutes — November 12, 2009

CALL TO ORDER

Board Chair Edward Barnes called the meeting of the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) to order at 9:00 a.m. on November 12, 2009, in the Sonoma Room at The Claremont Hotel, 41 Tunnel Road, Berkeley, CA. A quorum was established.

Board Secretary Robert Lamb led the Board in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Board Members Present:
Eddie Barnes, Chair   Louise Kirkbride
Robert Lamb, Secretary   Ed Lang
Robert Brown   Lisa Miller-Strunk
Joan Hancock   Bruce Rust
Matthew Kelly    
     
CSLB Staff Present:
Stephen Sands, Registrar   David Fogt, Enforcement
Cindi Christenson, Chief Deputy Registrar Rick Lopes, Public Affairs
Don Chang, Legal Counsel (DCA)   Karen Ollinger, Licensing
Kurt Heppler, Legal Counsel (DCA)   Bob Porter, Testing
Michael Brown, Legislation   Peter Sugar, Enforcement
Jonathan Buttle, Executive   Jeanette Ayubi, Executive Office
Amy Cox-O’Farrell, Information Technology   Tara Maggi, Executive
CHAIR’S REMARKS AND BOARD MEMBER COMMENTS

Chair Barnes referred to the recent joint Enforcement and Licensing Committee meeting held in Sacramento on October 22, 2009, at which James Miller and Cynthia Mitchell were recognized for their years of service as CSLB Board members. They will continue to serve the Board as representatives on the Enforcement Committee.

Subject Matter Experts Peter Grayson, Verdell Lassiter and Jim Burgard were awarded certificates for their contributions to the Examination Development Unit.

PUBLIC COMMENT SESSION

Bill Collins, a consumer from Pacifica, presented details from a complaint he filed with CSLB against a contractor who failed to satisfactorily complete a kitchen remodel project on his residence. Mr. Collins’ main focus was to present his experience with the arbitration process. Dave Fogt was asked to e-mail a case summary to the Board members.

REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF SEPTEMBER 10, 2009 BOARD MEETING MINUTES
  • Motion to Approve September 10, 2009 Board Meeting Minutes
    • MOTION: A motion was made by Board Member Matthew Kelly and seconded by Board Secretary Robert Lamb to approve the September 10, 2009 Board Meeting Minutes. The motion carried unanimously 9-0.
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE REPORT

Chair Barnes introduced Legislative Chair Lisa Miller-Strunk to present the Legislative Committee Report.

Legislative Chair Miller-Strunk introduced Legislative Chief Mike Brown, who reviewed recent developments on AB 560, which provides incentives for the development of solar and alternative energy systems. A last-minute provision precludes C-46 contractors from installing these types of systems, instead requiring a C-10 license. Also, the bill mandates that CSLB allow C-46 contractors to be eligible to test for a C-10 license. It was requested that the Board take a position of oppose unless the bill is amended to remove the latest provisions.

  • Motion to "Opposed Unless Amended" on AB 560
    • MOTION: A motion was made by Board Member Joan Hancock and seconded by Board Member Ed Lang to reflect CSLB’s position on AB 560 as opposed unless amended. The motion carried unanimously 9-0.

Legislative Chief Brown updated the Board on SB 638, referred to as the Sunset Review Bill, which by law, requires, the "sunset" of CSLB and its Registrar on January 1, 2011. Preliminary conversations have been initiated with members of the Senate Business, Professions & Economic Development committee (BP&ED) along with their counterparts in the Assembly. Their intent is to draft legislation to extend the sunset date. Chief Brown will brief the Board throughout the tracking progress to ensure this issue is resolved.

AB 660 was reviewed, specifically the industry’s contention over this bill and the fact that CSLB does not have direct regulatory authority over the employees affected by the bill. CSLB staff requested direction from the Board concerning how to address these issues to the Board Members.

Randy Roxson, Executive Director, Sprinkler Fitters Association of California (SFA), presented handouts to the Board and audience, which listed the currently established state-approved fire sprinkler apprenticeship training programs. Since a state agency cannot render a position without the Governor’s approval, the State Fire Marshall has not committed to a stance. The SFA requested CSLB’s support on AB 660. Legislative Chair Miller-Strunk proposed that CSLB maintain its current position, but to discuss the issue in-depth at the upcoming strategic planning meeting.

  • Motion to Approve the Proposal on AB 660
    • MOTION: A motion was made by Board Member Joan Hancock and seconded by Board Member Louise Kirkbride to table the motion to change CSLB’s stance from watch to support. Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Legal Counsel Don Chang requested a show of hands on the Board’s vote: Motion carried 6 – 3.
ENFORCEMENT COMMITTEE REPORT

Enforcement Committee Chair Ed Lang informed board members that Board Chair Eddie Barnes and Chief Deputy Registrar Cindi Christenson visited both the West Covina and San Bernardino Investigative Centers this week. Chair Lang reported that the Licensing and Enforcement Committees held a joint meeting on October 22, 2009. There was a significant industry attendance at the meeting. Among the attendees were Greg Armstrong of the National Electrical Contractors Association, Mason Gunn of Basic Crafts, Larry Rohlfes of the California Landscape Contractors Association, and Phil Vermeulen of the Association of Engineering Contractors.

LICENSING COMMITTEE REPORT

Board Member Joan Hancock introduced Licensing Chief Karen Ollinger, who presented the Licensing Committee report and division update. Board Member Lisa Miller-Strunk commented that she would like to be on the record observing what a difficult job it is to work in the Call Center. She acknowledged the extraordinary job the Call Center has done in past months, which she attributes to good leadership and guidance. When asked about the prospect of online licensure, Ms. Ollinger said she did not anticipate it would reduce the workload for the application units, since there are still tasks that need to be performed by the application technicians.

Licensing Chief Karen Ollinger also provided the Testing Program update. Ms. Ollinger highlighted the expansion and relocation of testing facilities in San Diego, Fresno and Oxnard. Ms. Ollinger updated the board on testing’s responsibilities to ensure that licensing examinations are current and relevant, through the process of occupational analysis and exam development, which needs to occur approximately every five to seven years. Ms. Ollinger also provided an update on the final examination development software module, SCORE, which is to be implemented in January.

Licensing Committee Chair Joan Hancock commented that, at the October 22, 2009 Committee meeting, the Licensing Committee reviewed and approved the opinion issued by the DCA Legal Affairs Office regarding CSLB’s practices when issuing opinions on matters pending litigation. Chair Hancock introduced Licensing Chief Karen Ollinger to summarize the issuing of “opinions” on matters that are currently the subject of litigation.

  • Motion to approve Policy Regarding Classification Determination on Matters Pending Litigation
    • MOTION: A motion was made by Board Member Matt Kelly and seconded by Board Member Bob Lamb to approve the Policy Regarding Classification Determinations on Matters Pending Litigation. The motion carried unanimously 9-0.
ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM UPDATE

Enforcement Committee Chair Ed Lang introduced Chief of Enforcement David Fogt to present an update on Enforcement staffing and investigative highlights. Mr. Fogt covered enforcement activities in declared disaster areas, and partnering with the Department of Insurance within these disaster areas to benefit consumer relations. Mr. Fogt highlighted other cases involving elder abuse. Mr. Fogt then provided updates on the activities within the Enforcement Division and reviewed the statistics included in the Enforcement program update. On an important note, Mr. Fogt indicated that CLSB’s ability to meet enforcement objectives has been compromised by the recent budget cuts and the additional third furlough day, which has led to a negative impact on staff morale. Mr. Fogt updated the board on Enforcement actions through the disciplinary report; he broke down statistical information on Enforcement citations, formal actions and disciplinary actions. Mr. Fogt also provided an overview of the staff recommendation to conduct stings with the Premium Insurance Fraud Task Force.

  • Motion to approve Staff Recommendation to Conduct Stings with the Premium Insurance Fraud Task Force
    • MOTION: A motion was made by Board Member Lisa Miller-Strunk and seconded by Board Member Bob Lamb to approve Staff Recommendation to Conduct Stings with the Premium Insurance Fraud Task Force. The motion carried unanimously 9-0.

Enforcement Chair Ed Lang introduced Deputy Attorney General Maretta Ward from the San Francisco Attorney General’s Office to discuss the role of the Attorney General’s Office as it pertains to CSLB. Ms. Ward discussed bankruptcy law, which has created challenges in prosecuting CSLB cases.

  • Motion to approve the October 22, 2009 Enforcement and Licensing Committee Summary Report
    • MOTION: A motion was made by Board Member Bob Lamb and seconded by Board Member Ed Lang to approve the October 22, 2009 Enforcement and Licensing Committee Summary Report. The motion carried unanimously 9-0.
PUBLIC AFFAIRS COMMITTEE REPORT

Committee Chair Bob Brown introduced Chief of Public Affairs Rick Lopes to present an overview of the Committee’s program update. Mr. Lopes described a new publication that has been sent out to over five hundred building officials throughout the State. The publication mailer includes posters, brochures and the new building official guide. Mr. Lopes discussed media events in conjunction with sting operations in various locations throughout California, such as Woodland, Fresno and Auburn. Mr. Lopes reported that the Public Affairs Office will be reducing the number of CSLB publications and prints due to budget cuts, and will try to encourage consumers to search online for such publications. Senior Scam Stopper seminars/Community Events are ongoing, although the furloughs are still in place. Mr. Lopes recognized the successful Wellness Fair that was held at CSLB Headquarters. He then reviewed statistical information within the advertising campaign pertaining to CSLB’s Web page, and user "hits."

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE REPORT

Registrar Stephen P. Sands made the following announcements during the Executive Committee Report:

  • The Fresno office site has been put on hold and staff will not be able to move to another site until further notice. Mr. Sands emphasized that he and Chief Deputy Registrar Christenson will be working to resolve this issue.
  • Brian Stiger is the new Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs. Mr. Sands listed the various experience and qualifications of Mr. Stiger which should serve the Department and Board well.
  • Jeanette Ayubi, Administrative Assistant, will be leaving the Executive Office to work in Enforcement under David Fogt as a Consumer Representative. Mr. Sands acknowledged her work and thanked her for all she has done for the Board.

Mr. Sands introduced Chief Deputy Registrar Cindi Christenson, who provided the Executive Committee Report, and Amy Cox-O’Farrell, Chief of Information Technology (IT), to present the IT update.

Ms. Christenson began the Administration division report by reviewing the open examination schedule provided by the Board’s Personnel department. She talked about the number of vacancies at the Board as well as how common the vacancy number is in a board of this size. Ms. Christenson noted the Emergency Evacuation Plan and how well it is working at this time, since there were many evacuations over the course of the last month. Ms. Christenson briefed the Board on site updates. These updates include the Santa Rosa site, which should be completed no later than January 10, 2010. Both the Oxnard and Valencia site leases have been executed, and a new lease is in negotiation for CSLB Headquarters, with the current expiration date being October 2014.

Amy Cox-O’Farrell, Chief of Information Technology (IT), presented the IT update. Ms. Cox-O’Farrell stated that the iLicensing/BreEZe has been put on hold and DCA is now turning towards what they call the New BreEZe. She reviewed the benefits of the New BreEZe that is in place. She also summarized the steps required to complete the contracts needed for the New BreEZe to take place. Ms. Cox-O’Farrell then described the status of current IT projects. Ms. Cox-O’Farrell described an issue with the Licensing/Enforcement mainframe vendor (software AG) that is currently involved in a law suit with the State of California and the Licensing fees. She has been instructed to look into moving the Licensing/Enforcement mainframe to a different platform. Ms. Cox-O’Farrell is unclear as to what that means for the Board, but she has a meeting scheduled with the Board of Equalization and PERS, who are in the process of moving their applications. The contract for electronic payment at CSLB Headquarters is currently awaiting approval from the vendor, and the others are still in the processing stage with DCA. The ACD system replacement is less expensive and has many features, which is why CSLB has requested an exemption to purchase this software. The exemption is currently at the State and Consumer Services Agency, awaiting approval. Once it is approved by Agency, installation will move forward. Lastly, Ms. Cox-O’Farrell touched on the Pocket Card equipment replacement and new mailing system.

As part of the Executive Office update, Budget Analyst, Jonathan Buttle, presented the budget briefing. Mr. Buttle began with an overview of the budget status, which included detailed reports listed in the Board meeting packet, the Fiscal Year (FY) 2009/10 budget and expenditures, revenue and FY 2009/10 adjusted CSLB budget, and budget reductions. Mr. Buttle briefly touched on the proposed license fee increase, budget reduction contingency scenario, and a chart showing CSLB budgeted positions and how they relate to the Board operations.

  • Motion to approve Fiscal Year 2009/2010 Budget Reduction Plan and Impact on Board Operations Due to Mandated Budget Cuts
    • MOTION: A motion was made by Board Member Bob Lamb and seconded by Board Member Ed Lang to approve Fiscal Year 2009/2010 Budget Reduction Plan and Impact on Board Operations Due to Mandated Budget Cuts. The motion carried unanimously 9-0.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS

Board Chair Barnes introduced Board Members Bob Brown and Joan Hancock to present the Elections of Officers. Mr. Brown acknowledged continued interest from the following Board Members to assume officer duties for the Board:

  • Eddie Barnes—Board Chair
  • Lisa Miller-Strunk—Board Vice-Chair
  • Bob Lamb—Board Secretary

The above duties will continue through June 2010.

  • Motion to Approve the Slated Officers
    • MOTION: A motion was made by Board Member Bob Brown and seconded by Board Member Joan Hancock to approve the Slated Officers. The motion carried unanimously 9-0.
REVIEW OF TENTATIVE SCHEDULE

Mr. Sands reviewed the schedule of upcoming Board meetings. The next Board meeting will be held at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort and Spa in Indian Wells on March 11, 2010. This will be a joint meeting with the Nevada State Licensing Board (NSLB), during NASCLA’s annual mid-year meeting. The strategic planning session will be at the Hotel Pacific in Monterey on April 30, 2010. The meeting, in conjunction with the DCA PACT Summit, will be held in Sacramento on July 28, 2010.

Registrar Sands mentioned having a meeting in late January or February; this may be a teleconference regarding positions on legislation.

ADJOURNMENT

Board Chair Barnes adjourned the Board meeting at 12:40 p.m.

 

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