Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Subjects of Texas

This past January members of the Greater Houston Locksmith Association (GHLA) learned of “changes in the works” with regard to continuing education requirements mandated by the DPS/PSB. Since my locksmith license is dependent upon fulfilling the requirements imposed by the DPS/PSB it would seem logical for the requirements and changes to be posted on their website or at the very least have someone available at their office to answer questions. The GHLA has advised members to contact either the DPS/PSB directly or visit the Texas Locksmith Association (TLA) website for updates.

Apparently such reasoning is beyond the ability of the DPS/PSB; our telephone contact was forwarded and we continued to get a recording saying Yolnada Martin was unavailable and to please try again later. We were directed to visit a website for the most current information requested only to find reference to changes were “pending”.

The DPS/PSB has not been able to justify their original mandate of 8 hours of continuing education and yet they believe, since they have unbridled power to impose their will on the locksmith industry; they can add even more hoops, balance beams and rope tricks as requirements to maintain the so called right to work in the State of Texas.

I’ve written on this subject on more than one occasion and sent letters to my State Representative and forwarded copies to the DPS/PSB.

“There should be a provision limiting the DPS/PSB from expanding the (their) powers to implement rules and regulations without an equal input from each individual locksmith; you will note that I didn’t say locksmith associations, from each individual locksmith who falls under the laws, rules and regulations which are to govern his/her livelihood.”

I was contacted by Wesley Hottot, Staff Attorney for the Institute for Justice - Texas Chapter and it was agreed, “it is far more onerous to get an occupational license than a driver’s license” and “fewer people are threatened by whatever danger the state finds in the provision of services than are threatened by locksmiths”. That having been said, the Institute for Justice also stated it would be unable to take the DPS/PSB to task for unreasonably mandating continuing education hours as part of locksmith’s licensing requirements “at this time”.

The DPS/PSB cannot justify its expensive and time consuming requirements, and I might add; requirements which do not serve to protect an unsuspecting public from scoundrels posing as legitimate locksmiths because those individuals who have acquired a locksmith license are not a threat and never were a threat to an unsuspecting public. The DPS/PSB has hijacked a part of the private sector and enslaved them with petty Lilliputian rules and regulations which serve only to guarantee permanent employment for DPS/PSB employees; a typical bureaucracy and drain on an already weak economy.

This morning, May 25, 2010, we contacted yet another employee of the DPS/PSB, Meredith McCall, who advised we could meet the previously mandated criteria of 8 hours continuing education credits, mail them in prior to “pending changes” being adopted and keep our renewal date the same regardless of changes made. This sounded like a reasonable course of action which will carry my business license for an additional two years; however, it does not address the fact that the DPS/PSB continues to act with impunity. They are free to encumber and impose onerous requirements upon any member of the locksmith industry without justification or accountability to those whom they are charged with overseeing.

That still does not address the issue of pending continuing education mandates which are being considered without my input, without my consideration and which will affect my business directly whether I agree with the DPS/PSB or not. They are holding the strings and I am the puppet, a subject of the State rather than a citizen.

Here is the information available from TLA; but listed on GHLA’s website. Notice the updates to be announced will be posted sometime after the PSB meeting in April. It is now the last week in May and we have not being given “ample notice”; you could say we are being given “no notice”.

“There has been some confusion across the state regarding the increase of locksmith CEU's from 8hrs per two years to 16hrs per two years. Yes, it is correct that the Private Security Bureau has increased the number of hours required to 16, but the date for the change to take affect has not yet been announced. Past experience with the PSB shows us that they will give us ample notice of the date required. Also, rumors have been floating around about the different requirements of classes we must take, many having no merit whatsoever. Be assured the TLA board is keeping on top of this issue.

We have a PSB meeting later this month of April where I am sure much of the future requirements will be discussed. When we get more information, we will share it with the association in both the Advisor and on the TLA website. This change in education requirements will affect all of us, but before we get upset and start worrying about what ifs, let's take this opportunity to educate ourselves about the CEU change first. Please contact your Board of Directors if you have questions. If we don't know the answers, we will seek out those who do."

Billy Garrett TLA President”

Well thank you for letting us know the TLA and GHLA are working for independent locksmiths, licensed and registered with your respective associations. The bit and bridle the DPS/PSB has us wear fits a little tighter each year than the year before; but I’m sure we’ll figure a way to suck up to the DPS/PSB until the next mandates are imposed. I pay my dues each year; if you at the TLA and GHLA call this representation I’d hate to see your definition of liberty. Bondage is a sorry excuse for liberty and freedom in a nation where life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are our foundations.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal , a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.


T. F. Stern said...

I got this comment via email from a fellow locksmith and thought it should be shared here.

"Thank you Thomas, I have forwarded this to the board of GHLA and TLA but unfortunately cannot guarantee you a response. We are all in the same boat, being regulated by an entity that knows nothing of our business and seems to be out for “money” instead of the good of the public.

I do know that GHLA is being well represented at these meetings but are only allowed input, whether or not this is a consideration for the DPS is up to them and not the GHLA board.

I know it is frustrating for you, as it is every locksmith in Texas but there is very little one can do to fight the State and their requirements. TLA has a lobbyist that represents them at ALL meetings and is doing a good job, as well as one can do with the State. I for one feel much better about our future knowing that GHLA and TLA board members are attending these meetings to keep us up to date on changes/pending changes to the rules and regulations.

I have forced myself to accept the requirements and realize that if I want to continue to practice “locksmithing” in Texas I must comply with Texas/DPS/PSB and only hope that one day they will become bored with us and move on to another industry, in my lifetime.

Keep giving your input, it may not matter to the DPS/PSB but it certainly does to others in our industry."

Jahn said...

And the beat goes on...

The bureaucracy expands to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.

Starsplash said...

Some day our language will be all alphebet but no words.