TSPS President Elect Jim Gillis led just under 50 members through this year's Strategic Planning session on Friday, August 1 in Fort Worth. Gillis based the session on his goals to promote the good of landowners and people of Texas, and the good of land surveying professionals around the state.
To help with his vision, Gillis assembled a distinguished advisory board, which included: Ken Gold and Ben Thomson (Historical Advisors); George Sanders (Legislative Advisor/Act and Rules); Bud Thompson (TSPS Constitution and By-Laws Advisor); John Barnard (RPLS/SIT Candidate Selection Advisor); Jason Jernigan (Advising on/Helping to Attract Young Surveyors); Jamie Gillis (Advising on/Helping Describe Process in Other States); and Mark Hanna (Legal Counsel). Discussion centered around surveyors and their regulatory agency - the Texas Board of Professional Land Surveying. Among those in attendance at the session were: TBPLS Executive Director Tony Estrada; TBPLS Complaint Investigator Larry Billingsley; past Complaint Investigator Garey Gilley; and Board Members Paul Kwan and Mary Chruszczak.
Attendees discussed ways to maintain the state board's independence, candidate selection process and enforcement of the Act and Rules. The following is an amended resolution supported by Strategic Planning attendees and scheduled to be presented for a vote of the membership at the TSPS Annual Meeting on Thursday, October 16, 2014 in Houston:
RESOLUTION OF THOSE PRESENT
Whereas, It is to the benefit of the entire State of Texas that all Land Surveyors work more closely with our regulatory agency to maintain the independent nature of the regulation of land surveyors, to strengthen candidate selection, to improve enforcement of the provisions of the Professional Land Surveyors Act and the Rules promulgated thereunder, and to promote diligent complaint investigation and appropriate discipline in order to protect the people of Texas,
And Whereas, by the provisions of the Texas Sunset Act as it relates to the Land Surveying Profession, a review will take place in 2018-2019 and the Texas Board of Professional Land Surveying will be abolished unless continued in existence by an act of the legislature,
And Whereas, during recent legislative sessions there have been multiple attempts to defund or abolish the Texas Board of Professional Land Surveying,
Be it resolved that:
In order to strengthen the enforcement of the Act and Rules governing Professional Land Surveying in Texas, there exists a need to promote more effective regulation of the practice of Land Surveying. This shall be achieved through maintaining the independent nature of the regulation of Land Surveying, developing an improved initial process of candidate selection, and ensuring thorough testing and continuing education at multiple levels in order to perpetuate a high professional level of competence; such regulation to also incorporate the guidance and oversight of periodic peer review including the handling of complaints, disciplinary actions, and penalties sufficient to maintain the overall professional practice of land surveying, thereby benefiting and protecting the General Public of the State of Texas. Consequently, it is the wish of those present that this or a similar initiative be presented to the general membership of the Texas Society of Professional Surveyors at the annual meeting in October 2014 for their consideration and action.