From the Chair - December 2017
The Board met for its regular quarterly meeting on November 17th in Austin. The meeting was very productive. Members heard reports from the staff and all of its advisory committees, considered and decided several disciplinary cases, and adopted several rules that had been proposed in August.
One major step we took was to ratify all of the generous accommodations that had been implemented in response to the unprecedented impact of Hurricane Harvey on our state. Beginning with a 60-day extension for all who wanted to take advantage of it, we also extended most deadlines for up to 180 days for those who live in the 60 county Disaster Area who need it most. The details of accomplishing this without massive data disruption were worked out by our staff team in an amazing display of skill. We are pleased to be able to respond so rapidly and fully to the needs of the valuation marketplace.
Next, the Board members adopted a series of rules that make our procedures more predictable and fair and also implemented some federal requirements in the arena of Appraisal Management Company regulation that prompted changes in the Texas law during the 2017 Legislative session. We amended our operating budget to recognize the reduced use of the State Office of Administrative Hearings by our Enforcement staff; considered some proposed amendments to minimum qualifications to expand the pool of available mentors; reviewed the criminal history guidelines we have in place; and discussed the potential negative impact of an expanding use of algorithmic valuation models by non-appraisers.
In February of 2018, the federal Appraisal Subcommittee will be making its biennial compliance oversight visit and we expect a good report about our operations from them at our next meeting. The agency will also begin our regular strategic planning process, as well as the once every 12 years in-depth review of the Sunset Commission, culminating in a crucial continuation bill in 2019. We look forward to all of this intense scrutiny because we know it makes us stronger as a model agency.
Wishing you all the very best this Holiday Season! And may your New Year be filled with blessings!