The month of March was one for the record books for us all. We started the month learning about the “Coronavirus” and by the end of the month, life as we know it was monumentally altered. Our staff came together quickly to orchestrate a colossal shift of our workforce to remote work. Our team remains energetic and determined to support license holders. I am particularly mindful of the loss many have experienced—loss of business, freedoms, health and in some cases, loss of life. Our staff remains ready to serve and we send our thoughts and prayers to our license holder community as each of us faces the realities of the day.
The President has extended the federal guidelines for social distancing through April 30. Additionally, Governor Abbott’s disaster declaration continues as well as several executive orders, including one which implements a statewide definition of essential services. See our FAQs for more details.
In this new era of social distancing, the agency will hold all regular committee, Commission, and Board meetings virtually. The Inspector Committee, Education Standards Advisory Committee, Broker-Lawyer Committee, and several Board and Commission committees will meet this month as planned. Details on how to participate in these virtual meetings will be posted on our website.
TALCB General Counsel Announced
Kathleen Santos has accepted the position of TALCB General Counsel and will begin her work with us on May 1, 2020. Kathleen joins us from private practice, where she focuses mainly on property tax litigation and works regularly with the appraisal community. She also has experience in the government sector. She will be a valuable addition to our staff and I look forward to working with her. A more formal introduction will follow.
Appraiser License Language
At a recent engagement with appraiser license holders, a concern was raised regarding the language on appraiser certificates that refers consumers to TALCB if they have a complaint. I promised that I would address the concern and would like to do so here. The appraiser certificate includes language that is on all TREC and TALCB licenses as a mechanism to provide consumers with information regarding how to raise a complaint. It is one way in which we fulfill our mission as a consumer protection agency. It is important for consumers to know how to file a complaint and this seems to be the simplest way to do so. I stand by our need to direct consumers to our agency, however, I welcome input on alternative language or ways to relay this information that may be more effective. Please reach out to me with your suggestions.
Thank You to Doug Oldmixon
Our long-serving Executive Director and Commissioner, Douglas Oldmixon, retired as of March 31. TREC and TALCB were poised to quickly transition to a remote workforce because of Doug’s leadership and vision for the future. The agency changed quite a bit in his time, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work for him and learn from him. We wish him all the best.