Jump to content

Washington to Eliminate Home Inspector's Board


hausdok
 Share

Recommended Posts

Olympia, WA - Dec. 4, 2009

On Thursday, Gov. Gregoire announced additional measures to reform state government, including elimination of 17 boards and commissions, and plans to introduce legislation to eliminate an additional 78 advisory boards, including the Washington State Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board. Gregoire also signed a directive suspending expenses and travel costs for board and commission members.

Gregoire proposes eliminating boards and commissions, reorganizing small agencies and the Department of Commerce and consolidating back-office functions

“Just like private businesses, state government must make changes to get the most value for our investments while maintaining the highest level of customer service,â€

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What it will do is remove the DOL Director's most direct route to assistance understanding home inspection issues. Once the board is eliminated, there won't be any more home inspectors advising the single DOL employee responsible for overseeing home inspector issues and implementing new policy; she'll be entirely on her own.

We board members have been expecting this, and have been working as hard as we can to get all potential issues ironed out for her by the July deadline, but I think that, without the advice and assistance of the board and the various committees, she's going to be bogged down come July 1st, when full licensing for all home inspectors goes into effect. It's a mystery to me how they plan to investigate any complaints made against home inspectors by consumers; if they don't have any experienced home inspectors, that understand all of the issues and implications involved, available to perform the investigations.

I'm guessing it will end up like other states where the only actual "enforcement" can't be done without someone literally ratting out another inspector and providing DOL incontrovertible proof.

Seems to me, that it wouldn't take that much money to set it up so that the board could hold all meetings via Go-to-meeting.com, therefore there wouldn't be any need to pay for the use of hotel conference rooms, refreshments, per diem and travel expenses for all board members plus the DOL staff.

It's certainly not like any of the board has done all of this work for the money; I think I was paid something like $120 for the last all-day meeting I had to attend where I drove down there - I turned away a $650 job that someone wanted me to do that day that couldn't be done on any other day. That's been the case for every meeting; plus every time I've had to go to Olympia to address committees I had to turn away work and I wasn't paid for those trips. It's the same with all other board members; the pay sucks and the work is like repeatedly getting the same wisdom tooth pulled over and over and over and over and......

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm guessing it will end up like other states where the only actual "enforcement" can't be done without someone literally ratting out another inspector and providing DOL incontrovertible proof.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Yes, most likely. It'll turn into just another revenue stream for the state instead of a regulatory agency.

At least, that's what happened in Illinois.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm guessing it will end up like other states where the only actual "enforcement" can't be done without someone literally ratting out another inspector and providing DOL incontrovertible proof.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Yes, most likely. It'll turn into just another revenue stream for the state instead of a regulatory agency.

At least, that's what happened in Illinois.

I don't think it will provice much money for the state. By law, the licensing program has to be revenue neutral. Initial funding was based on DOL's sunrise review estimate of there being at least 1000 inspectors in the state to license.

They put together a budget for staff, hired a person and then began holding board meetings and gathering input, etc. Then when the grandfathering deadline was reached on September 1st they had about half the number of licensees that they'd anticipated; so they've actually lost money. They've already consolidated the employee's duties into the duties of another position, and cut back on the number of meetings, but it looks like, given the number that have applied to date and the number attending courses around the state, that they'll come up short on July 1st.

Right now, they'll be happy if it looks like they can break even on July 1st and the number of renewals will be sufficient to pay that portion of her salary that's tied to the home inspector program. So far, I think they are at 365 licensed, 41 approved for the exam, and 3 pending reciprocity for a total of 409. If all of those were licensed right now, they'd have brought in just over $278K. If the numbers don't begin increasing a great deal, I think they're going to run out of money somewhere around 2011.

Don't bank on that though - when it comes to money, I'm dumber than a box of donuts.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

" I think I was paid something like $120 for the last all-day meeting I had to attend where I drove down there ..."

Mike, you lucky dog! I just got my annual paycheck for my ZBA position, and after taxes I netted $73.53. The good news is that was prorated for nine months of service so there'll be a bit more next year, plus I get a 3% cost of living allowance every year.[:D]

Tom

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Inspectors in Louisiana serve on the Board of Home Inspectors for no more than 6 years. They can't serve more than once. As in Washington State, the compensation likely doesn't even approximate the inspection sales lost when a board member has to travel and attend a meeting.

I haven't served yet, but if I ever do, I've agreed that it'll be all about improving the industry in our state, not about the compensation. I'll likely have to pay for the services of a 'real time' court reporter in order to follow the meetings (I'm as deaf as a post but I can speak fairly well), which I will do if needed. I'll just make certain that while I'm on that board, that I give it 100%, just like each and every one of my clients. Either that or don't serve.

Marc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is common with "advisory" boards, and unfortunately most home inspector boards are advisory boards. Very few are standing boards with the prescribed powers(subpoena power) that are needed to carry out the job. The TN board has not had a meeting for about 3 years, it is an advisory board. When I served on the MS HI board we would meet every 90 days, board members were paid their expenses for travel and lodging + $35 per meeting. I don't know of anyone that served for the money, we all knew upfront that it was a 99.98% volunteer job. The MS HI board was a standing board with subpoena powers; this board was under the commission that held the Real Estate and Appraiser boards. Staff was shared by all with each board having dedicated staff persons or person as with the HI board.

With the MS board most of the meeting would deal with complaints and hearings against licensed HI or even non licensed folks who got caught!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mike,

My worry is Dr Dan will pressure Rhonda to sanction home inspectors who he thinks are violating the SPI law when doing a home inspection. A loud voice is needed to protect the home inspectors from regulation by WSDA. I like Rhonda but I don't think she would do well against pressure from Dr Dan.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Brad,

I talked to Rhonda yesterday. DOL has a whole group of investigators that are charged with investigating violations of the rules. One of those is assigned to do home inspections and is a retired cop. He's going to be auditing training courses in order to get up to speed and the board members will help too. I don't think Soumi will have much luck moving that guy.

If he was a good cop, he'll be fair and impartial.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To anyone that's interested and has the time, there's a board meeting today at 0930 hrs at the Doubletree In Seatac.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

The meeting notice showed up yesterday at 3:15 pm on my e-mail. A little late to change my schedule. Meeting notices need to go out at least one week in advance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...