TREC meeting

The inspector standards committee meets in Austin tomorrow morning. I cannot make it but have sent my suggestions.

  • Commentary has problems but can be fixed.
  • Make sure all requirements and specificity in the Commentary is adopted into SoP.
  • Keep commentary explanatory or educational per promise of SoP chairman.
  • Create Request for Interpretation (RFI) process so inspectors and trade associations can ask questions and receive answers. The RFI process works well with or without a Commentary.

I also suggested the Commissioners allow trade association SoP to be used. The law allows that. Doubt that would ever happen however.

I’m planning on attending the meeting Monday and will post my meeting notes later in the day.

The TREC Inspector’s Advisory Committee SOP Subcommittee meeting scheduled for this morning at 11:00 am was canceled due to lack of a quorum of the subcommittee members. Members of the full IAC met privately with TREC staff to discuss the logistics of the proposed Commentary and how it might be implemented. The decision has not been reached (at least publicly) as to whether the Commentary will be enforceable or not nor whether it will become part of the existing SOP or if it will be a new Rule or if it will be a stand-alone, non-enforceable, non-rule document for clarification purposes only. The IAC chairman said no decision has been reached on that as yet but work will continue on the proposed Commentary in the meantime. Separately, I discussed this with a TAREI representative and we agreed that all of the trade associations should develop a position statement regarding the Commentary and present that to the IAC as soon as possible. I will draft one for NACHI and post it here for comment in a few days.

There is concern the private meeting that was not posted violated Open Meetings. I am assured it did not.

Although the room was full of powerful people no quorum was present.

5 comisioners needed for a quorum; 4 present
5 inspector members needed for a quorum; 4 present
2 inspector standards members needed for a quorum; 1 present.

When judging intent all one has to do is ask what degree of authority did the meeting attendees represent when discussing home inspection regulation outside the boundaries of a quorum. Let’s take a look.

John Eckstrum, Commission Chairman
Avis Wukasch, Commission Vice Chairperson
Adrian Arriaga, Commission Secretary
Joanne Justice, Commissioner

TAR ghosts
John Eckstrum, TAR past President
Avis Wukasch, TAR past president
Joanne Justice, NAR past Director
Adrian Arriaga, NAR past Director

Larry Foster, IC Chairman
Jill Frankel, IC Secretary
Fred Willcox, IC Standards Chairman
Brad Phillips

Douglas Oldmixon, TREC Executive Director
Loretta Dehay, TREC General Counsel
Devon Bijansky, TREC Deputy General Counsel
Robert Meisel, TREC Inspector staff attorney

  • “You know your country is dying when you have to make a distinction between what is moral and ethical, and what is legal.”*
    John De Armond

Ethics is very difficult to define in words, however a breech of ethics is usually easy to recognize. The breech is measured solely by the observer and not the executor. The result of an ethics breech is loss of integrity and trust. Most people cannot define a walking quorum but they can sense or suspect it.

The law always considers intent. And that determines the seriousness of the crime.*
*Warren Olath

Onward fellow inspectors. We cannot control what happens at TREC but we can continue to try and understand the requirments in order to do a better job. Let’s stick to that.

I had a few people contact me to ask for clarification regarding Vernon Davis being disciplined by TREC.

When he was Chairman of the Inspector Committee a mandatory E&O bill was advancing quickly. TREC staff was in Canada on a seminar.

There had been one emergency meeting regarding Katrina that preempted the normal open meeting public notice rules. Teleconferencing was new at TREC. Mr. Davis felt an emergency meeting was needed.

Chairman Davis called for an emergency inspector committee teleconference meeting to discuss the legislation that required mandatory E&O. Keep in mind the TREC lawyers were in Canada and had not blessed the event.

When the call started there was not a quorum. While they waited for others to dial in, one person asked if the meeting would be approved by TREC general counsel. Mr. Davis listened to those concerns and cancelled the meeting in order to consult with TREC. No deliberation occurred and the meeting did not convene. The bill passed without comment.

Later TREC filed an Open Meetings complaint against Mr. Davis with the Travis County attorney general. It is a misdemeanor. Other more obvious Open Meeting complaints have never been upheld by the Attorney General. It is very unlikely this complaint would hold water either. After all, Mr. Davis was a public volunteer and received no compensation. Additionally, the meeting never occurred. The complaint sits in some dusty file. I suspect Mr. Davis considers it a trophy to hang. He acted to promote discussion on legislation; the effort was not consummated and he was hit with a complaint.

Perhaps there are other sides to this. I commend his courage with the information I have.

Anyway that was 2 years ago and since then he has left inspection and become a very successful insurance adjuster. He does not even look back at inspection any more.