August 2008

In This Issue:


Charles Drago

Message From The Secretary

Dear Friend:

On July 31, Governor Charlie Crist appointed me to serve as the Secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Governor Crist understands the importance of creating a business friendly environment that also regards the safety and protection of the consumer as a top priority. I am eager to continue to serve the people of Florida and our business community and professionals in my new capacity as Secretary. I will draw upon my experience in the Department as the former Deputy Secretary of Business Regulation and Interim Secretary to continue to advance our mission to license efficiently and regulate fairly.

We've made tremendous progress over the past year, and I'm dedicated to maintaining this momentum. We know that serving you is the first step to providing great service to the people of Florida. That's why we've focused on changes that improve customer service, streamline processes, open communications with licensees and the public, and lead to better business practices.

One of the most crucial adjustments to business practices at the Department was the implementation of the Document Imaging System. The project is in its final phases, and it ultimately provides for a more streamlined and centralized application process that results in faster licensing and better service for you. I thank Governor Charlie Crist and the Legislature for providing $2.5 million to complete this project in Fiscal Year 2008/2009, which helps take care of businesses and professionals throughout Florida.

Our quest to improve customer service is never over. In an effort to reach our licensees who are located throughout the state, I'm taking our business on the road in the "On the Road to Better Business" tour this summer and early fall. This tour will provide the opportunity for you to meet with me and my staff to ask questions and provide input and suggestions. I will hold office hours for customers to come and meet with me at a Department office in their communities. Please look forward to more information to come.

I continue to uphold our mission to "License Efficiently. Regulate Fairly." I understand and value that licensees have unique insight into how we do business and ways we can build upon existing practices, and I look forward to hearing your feedback.

Thank you for all that you do for the people and economy of our great state.

Sincerely,

Charles W. Drago
Secretary

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Message From The Board Chair, Raymond Holloway

I am proud to have been a licensed plumbing contractor for 40 years and to have served as Chairman of the Construction Industry Licensing Board. As Board Chair, I would like to share the following thoughts:

  • The Board's highest priority is to make sure the people of Florida are protected from unscrupulous contractors, both licensed and unlicensed. It is up to this Board and the construction licensees to keep Florida citizens safe and aware. How can you, the licensed contractor, help the Construction Industry Licensing Board rid the industry of these problems? Protecting the integrity of our profession is a responsibility we all share. Please take care in supervising the financial aspects of your business and report unlicensed activity.
  • When disasters occur, we seem to see many unlicensed contractors offering their services. Florida has not seen a bad hurricane since 2005, and we might feel a false sense of safety. Our Board wants you to know that at any time between June and November, a storm could affect our lives. Florida citizens should be aware and not hire contractors who cannot afford to start the job. Contractors who request large down payments should flash a red light for consumers!!
  • The Construction Industry Licensing Board would like to request that local construction regulation boards review their disciplinary processes in regard to state-certified contractors. The Board has received disciplinary cases from local jurisdictions where the local disciplinary board has exceeded their statutory authority with regard to state certified contractors. Section 489.113(4)(b), Florida Statutes, specifies that local construction regulation boards may deny permits, or issue permits with specific conditions, to certified contractors who have been found guilty of fraud through the public hearing process. Some local boards have taken action for willful code violations, which goes beyond the authority of the statute. The Construction Industry Licensing Board is unable to discipline certified contractors for local discipline where this statutory authority has been exceeded.
  • We were saddened to lose Mike Blankenship of Blankenship Contracting on September 16, 2007. Mike was a gentleman of true character. His memory will continue to serve as an example for the Board. He is truly missed.

In closing, we want to thank all Board members for keeping Florida strong and for your dedication to the Construction Industry Licensing Board. Also, a Big Welcome to the new members coming on board.

Thank you for allowing us to serve you. Together we can all make a difference.

Raymond Holloway
Chairman, Construction Industry Licensing Board

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Message from the Executive Director, G.W. Harrell

I would like to thank Mr. Raymond R. Holloway for his service as Board Chair for the past year. Mr. Holloway has been an effective leader, and his commitment is very much appreciated. Under Mr. Holloway's tenure, the Board has implemented new continuing education requirements, implemented a revised Business and Finance examination, and developed a draft rule regarding experience documentation and who may certify experience for new applicants.

The Construction Industry Licensing Board continues to be very concerned about fraudulent experience affidavits for new applicants. Licensees that falsely verify experience for applicants undermine the credibility of your profession and are committing a felony. The Division of Regulation at the Department of Business and Professional Regulation has initiated a program where individuals who verify experience for multiple applicants will be subject to investigation. Fraudulent activity will be reported to law enforcement for criminal prosecution.

G.W. Harrell
Executive Director
Construction Industry Licensing Board
Department of Business and Professional Regulation

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"As The Gavel Passes, A Tradition Continues"

by Andy Janecek
Government Analyst

Every year in June, members of the Construction Industry Licensing Board elect one of their own to serve as Vice Chair of the Board. The elected member serves as Vice Chair for one year and then serves as chairperson for the following year. On May 16, 2008, the Board unanimously elected Barry Kalmanson to serve as Chair, and Jacqueline Watts as Vice Chair. They assumed their new roles on July 1, 2008.

Barry Kalmanson, of Maitland, has been a member of the Board since 2002 and will replace Raymond Holloway as Chair. Mr. Kalmanson is licensed as a certified building contractor and real estate broker, and works as a developer in Central Florida. He is an active member of the Florida Bar and received his Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Building Construction degree from the University of Florida. Mr. Kalmanson is a member of the Aluminum Association of Florida.

Jacqueline Watts, of Watts Mechanical in Tallahassee, will become the Board’s fifth female Vice Chair, and has served as a member of the Board since 2002. Ms. Watts is a licensed certified class-A air conditioning contractor and certified plumbing contractor and is also licensed by the Board of Building Code Administrators and Inspectors. Ms. Watts volunteers her time by working with Refuge House and PACE Center for Girls in Tallahassee, and has previously served as president of the Big Bend Air Conditioning Contractors Association.

We congratulate Mr. Kalmanson and Ms. Watts on their new appointments, and look forward to their guidance and expertise as they assume their new roles.

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION (HOT TOPICS)

New Continuing Education Requirements for Certified and
Registered Contractors


  • Laws and Rules Continuing Education
    House Bill 7163 (2007 Legislative Session) revised the continuing education requirements for certified and registered contractors licensed by the Construction Industry Licensing Board. All certified and registered contractors must now complete one hour of laws and rules-related continuing education as part of the 14 hours currently required during each licensure cycle.
  • Wind Mitigation Methodologies Continuing Education
    Senate Bill 1864 passed the 2007 Florida Legislature and further revised the continuing education requirements for certain contractors licensed by the Construction Industry Licensing Board. Based on this statutory change, the Board filed a notice of proposed rule development which would affect Rule 61G4-18.001, Florida Administrative Code. The rule became effective on November 15, 2007.

    The new rule requires all general, building, residential, roofing, specialty structure and glass and glazing contractors to complete one hour of continuing education related to wind mitigation methodologies as part of the 14 hours that is currently required. Wind mitigation methodology courses are defined as those topics listed in Section 553.844(2)(b)1.-5., Florida Statutes.

    Certified contractors renewing their licenses on August 31, 2008, must complete the new one hour requirement prior to renewal. Registered contractors renewing their licenses on August 31, 2009, must complete the one hour requirement prior to renewal. Those licensees not in compliance with all continuing education requirements by the expiration date of the licenses may face non-renewal or disciplinary action.
  • Continuing Education Providers
    Continuing education providers that desire to obtain approval to offer laws and rules-related courses must apply to the Department. All new courses, and existing courses, must be evaluated by the Board and approved as laws and rules-related courses before credit will be offered. Applications for wind mitigation methodology continuing education courses also require Board approval. Application information for course providers is available on the Board’s web site, at www.MyFloridaLicense.com > Direct to Our Divisions > Professions and Professional Boards > Construction Industry.
  • New Marine Specialty Contractor Licensure Category
    On December 25, 2007, the Construction Industry Licensing Board developed a new certified licensure category for Marine Specialty Contractors. The first examination administration for Marine Specialty Contractors will be held on August 12 – 13, 2008. Applications for licensure will be accepted after that date. For more information or to apply for a license, please refer to Rule 61G4-15.033, Florida Administrative Code, or visit the Board’s web site, at www.MyFloridaLicense.com > Direct to Our Divisions > Professions and Professional Boards > Construction Industry.

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TEMPORARY NONRENEWABLE CERTIFICATION PROCESS

By David C. Spingler
Administrative Coordinator

Were you aware that if a qualifying agent has passed away, that the business entity is eligible for a Temporary Nonrenewable Certification? This certification allows a company, in good standing, to finish all projects that were initiated prior to the qualifying agent’s death.

In accordance with section 489.121, Florida Statutes, an officer from the business entity can assume all responsibilities of the primary qualifying agent for that entity.

"If an incomplete contract exists at the time of death of a contractor, the contract may be completed by any person even though not certified or registered. Such person shall notify the Board, within 30 days after the death of the contractor, of his or her name and address, knowledge of the contract(s), and the ability to complete it. If the Board approves, he or she may proceed with the contract." Section 489.121, Florida Statutes.

Should your business entity ever be faced with the unfortunate occurrence of the qualifying agent’s passing, please notify the Department within 30 days of the death of the qualifying agent, and provide the following items:

  • A written letter, on company letterhead, advising the Department of Business and Professional Regulation of the death. This letter should be addressed to G.W. Harrell, Executive Director for the Construction Industry Licensing Board and should be from the person who is assuming the responsibility of the primary qualifying agent. This person should already be affiliated with the business entity and should explain the qualifications that he or she possesses. We must have in writing that this person is assuming the responsibility.
  • A copy of the death certificate.
  • A list of all contracts/permits that were in progress as of the date the qualifying agent passed away. If applicable, please include the permit number, permit location, and municipality in which the permit was pulled.

Once you have prepared the above listed information required for the Temporary Nonrenewable Certification, please mail it to:

Department of Business and Professional Regulation
Construction Industry Licensing Board
G.W. Harrell, Executive Director
1940 North Monroe Street, MS #N-14
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1039

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Contractors Adjusting Insurance Claims

By Dale Travis, Financial Administrator
Florida Department of Financial Services

Sometimes contractors attempt to help victims of disasters by offering assistance with their insurance claim. If they do so, they may illegally be engaging in the practice of public adjusting without being properly licensed by the Department of Financial Services.

The definition of a public adjuster, as explained in Section 626.854, Florida Statutes, is any person, except an attorney, who, for money or any other thing of value (which would include securing a contract for repairs):

  • Prepares, completes or files an insurance claim form for an insured.
  • Aids in any manner on behalf of an insured in negotiating for or effecting the settlement of a claim.
  • Advertises or solicits for employment as an adjuster of such claims.

If you are acting as a public adjuster in any manner by negotiating or effecting the settlement of an insurance claim on behalf of an insured and you are performing any of these services for money, commission or anything of value without being licensed as a public adjuster (Section 626.854, Florida Statutes), you could be subject to arrest and may be charged with a third-degree felony as provided by Section 626.8738, Florida Statutes.

If you should become licensed as a Public Adjuster, you cannot enter into a contract to do both the public adjusting and construction work on the same property per Florida Statute 626.8795, Public adjusters; prohibition of conflict of interest:

"A public adjuster may not participate, directly or indirectly, in the reconstruction, repair, or restoration of damaged property that is the subject of a claim adjusted by the licensee; may not engage in any other activities that may be reasonably construed as a conflict of interest, including soliciting or accepting any remuneration from, of any kind or nature, directly or indirectly; and may not have a financial interest in any salvage, repair, or any other business entity that obtains business in connection with any claim that the public adjuster has a contract or an agreement to adjust."

If you should have any questions about what activities constitute acting as a public adjuster, please contact the Department of Financial Services at 850-413-3136 or through its website, http://MyFloridaCFO.com.

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Important Information from your Discipline Coordinator

by Amanda Abbott, Government Analyst

Are you currently suspended?

Is your license currently suspended? Is it because you had a final order issued and have not paid your fines and costs to the Department, or have you not shown proof of restitution made to a homeowner? If you fall under one of the above categories, please contact the Department at 850.487.1395 to make your payment. If you have recently received notification of your suspension and made payment, you must provide proof to the Executive Director as it is stated so in your final order. Please make sure to contact the Board office to have your suspension lifted, as it is not automatically reinstated!

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Construction Industry Licensing Board

Governor

Charlie Crist


Secretary

Charles W. Drago


Board Members

CHAIR
Raymond Holloway,
Orlando

VICE CHAIR
Barry Kalmanson,
Maitland

Paul Del Vecchio, Boca Raton

Dolores Clark, Crystal River

Michelle Kane, Orlando

Don Wilford, Jacksonville

Robert Stewart,
Fort Myers

James Flaherty,
Port Orange

Jacqueline Watts,
Tallahassee

Joan Brown, Sarasota

Mark Pietanza,
Dania

Edward Weller,
Coral Gables

Carl Engelmeier,
Apopka

Doris O. Bailey, Hernando

Frank Bonuso,
Fort Lauderdale

William Sheehan,
Saint Petersburg

Robert Moody, Jr., Tampa


Board Staff

G. W. Harrell,
Executive Director

David C. Spingler, III
Administrative Assistant II

Andy Janecek
Government Analyst I

Amanda Abbott
Government Analyst I

Upcoming Board Meetings

August 13 – 15, 2008
Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach
2800 South Ocean Boulevard
Palm Beach, FL 33480
561.533.3748

September 10 – 12, 2008
Hutchinson Island Marriott Beach Resort
555 NE Ocean Boulevard
Stuart, FL 34996
772.225.3700

October 8 – 10, 2008
The DoubleTree Castle Hotel
8629 International Drive
Orlando, FL 32819
407.996.3103

November 12 – 14, 2008
Sirata Resort & Conference Center
5300 Gulf Boulevard
St. Pete Beach, FL 33706
727.363.5100

All meeting dates and locations are subject to change. Please verify meeting infomation on the department's
Board Meeting Calendar.

Board Appointments


Are you interested in serving on a professional board or council?


Interested applicants may obtain a Gubernatorial Questionnaire by downloading the application.

Once your application is complete, mail the questionnaire for consideration to: Governor’s Appointments’ Office, PL01 The Capitol, Tallahassee, Florida, 32399-0001

Disciplinary Actions


Please refer to the Board’s web site at www.MyFloridaLicense.com for the most up-to-date information regarding disciplinary actions. This action may be found in the minutes of the board meetings. Although we make every effort to ensure information is correct, before making any specific decision based on this information, you may choose to request a copy of the administrative complaint and final order to ensure accuracy.

Contact the Department’s Agency Clerk at sarah.wachman@dbpr.state.fl.us
for this information.

Past Board Meeting Information

Report Unlicensed Activity


To report unlicensed activity, please call the Department’s Unlicensed Activity Hotline at 1.866.532.1440, Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time)or e-mail the information to ULA@dbpr.state.fl.us.

Subscribe to DBPR Newsletters


You can now subscribe on line at www.MyFloridaLicense.com to receive your profession’s newsletter as well as other Department publications via e-mail. Subscribing is very quick and easy.

  1. Go to www.MyFloridaLicense.com
  2. Select “Subscribe to Department Newsletters” located under The Bottom Line
  3. Type in your name and e-mail
  4. Choose which newsletters or publications you would like to receive via e-mail
  5. Select “Subscribe”

When the newsletters you have subscribed to are available, you will receive an e-mail from the Department with a link to your newsletter.

Contact Information Updates


Please help us by notifying the Department when your address, telephone number, and/or e-mail changes. Service by regular mail to a licensee¹s last known address of record constitutes adequate and sufficient notice to the licensee for any official communication, so it is important that your contact information is correct.

You may change your mailing address using our online services at www.MyFloridaLicense.com. If you have any questions regarding this requirement, or need assistance using the online services menu, please telephone the Customer Contact Center at 850.487.1395 or use our convenient contact form to submit any comments and/or questions you may have. In order to better serve you, please include as much information as possible about the nature of your request.

The Correct Zip Code Makes a Difference!


The Department's Bureau of Central Intake and Licensure, located within the Division of Service Operations, receives and processes your license applications. To ensure your application and required documentation is sent directly to the Bureau of Central Intake and Licensure section for processing, always use the correct zip code, "plus-4" on all correspondence you send to us. The "plus-4" refers to the unique four-digit code that identifies the divisions and offices within the Department.

The proper zip code, plus-4 for the Bureau of Central Intake and Licensure is 32399-0783.

Thanks for helping us serve you better!