November 14, 2008

Dear Friends:

I know you’ve all heard of the man from Ohio known as “Joe the Plumber,” who was launched into the presidential debate and media because he asked President-elect Barack Obama about his anticipated tax policy during the campaign.  Oddly enough, we met our own plumber, “Scott the Plumber,” while “On the Road to Better Business” in Ft. Lauderdale. 

Scott is a state-licensed plumber as well as an air-conditioning contractor, mechanical contractor and soon to be solar contractor. This is a man who knows the processes here at DBPR and had many opinions that he wasn’t shy about sharing with me. Not only did he provide excellent insight into the application and testing processes, but also he shared great suggestions for enhancements.

Some of the suggestions included the need to make more applications available online, make the directions easier to understand, and establish better procedures on deficiencies to improve the turnaround time. Each of these suggestions would make the licensure process more efficient and faster so people could get to work sooner.

While I’ve heard some of these suggestions before, and we’re working on ways to accomplish them, the way that Scott delivered his insight and opinions was powerful.  He took the day off from work to drive to Ft. Lauderdale and meet with me. He explained that he cared about the industry as a whole and that his license was important to him and represented significant sacrifice and commitment on his part.

Scott explained he worked 12- to 14-hour days only to go home to study for another licensing exam.  He then took time off from work and spent many hours sitting for each of these exams. When he passed the tests, he promptly completed the required applications and waited for the results.  He said that the wait was grueling; he had worked so hard for the licenses and couldn’t wait to have them in his hands. The wait sometimes dragged on as he received deficiency notices and began the wait again.  Scott eventually received his licenses.

Hearing the toll that the process can take on some of our citizens reminds me of our priorities at DBPR. We must do everything we can to streamline the process and get people their licenses as quickly as possible. It also reminds me why we started the “On the Road to Better Business” initiative, so we can hear from our licensees and see business through their eyes.  This, too, is one way we can help achieve Governor Crist’s “Accelerate Florida” goals. 

Our final “On the Road to Better Business” will be held here in Tallahassee on Wednesday, Dec. 3, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. I invite you to come to our Tallahassee office, located at 1940 N. Monroe St.

Sincerely,

Chuck Drago's Signature

Charles W. Drago
Secretary

Department of Business and
Professional Regulation
1940 North Monroe Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
Customer Contact Center:
850.487.1395

www.MyFloridaLicense.com

upcoming board meetings

November 17-19, 2008
FLORIDA REAL ESTATE COMMISSION

ORLANDO
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November 18, 2008
FLORIDA BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS

Probable Cause Panel
TALLAHASSEE
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November 19, 2008
BOARD OF EMPLOYEE LEASING COMPANIES

ORLANDO
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November 19-21, 2008
ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR’S LICENSING BOARD

TALLAHASSEE
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November 21, 2008
FLORIDA BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS

Telephone Conference Call
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