TSPS Chapter 5!
September 2012 The Official T.S.P.S. Chapter 5 Newsletter

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Hot Off the Press...

The Bois d’Arc Post is the Official Chapter 5 Newsletter. This is your publication. It can never be any better than the flow of news you contribute. It is intended for Chapter 5 members and supporters to share ideas and information of interest, but it is also available to the general public. If you have any sort of information that would be of interest or beneficial to our members, please forward it so that we can include it in an upcoming edition. Contact Chapter 5 President Jason Jernigan (972-346-6204) to discuss your Newsletter contribution. This online newsletter is funded by Courthouse Research Specialists.


 Words of Wisdom

" If a man does his best, what else is there? " - General George S. Patton

" Few things are harder to put up with than a good example. " - Mark Twain





  In the Rearview Mirror...

August 14 Chapter Meeting Recap: Attendees got a nice review of TSPS Governmental Affairs Committee activities from Chairman Mickey Nowell, as well as updates on the Sales Tax related to Survey services by TSPS Legal Council Mark Hanna. Mark also shared a list of legislative initiatives undertaken by TSPS over the past 20 years on behalf of Texas surveyors, and the list is quite impressive. Mark and Mickey also gave attendees a look at what may lie ahead in the upcoming 2013 legislative session, and potential issues for TSPS and surveyors. The meeting had approximately 40 attendees.

Members are reminded that the next TSPS Board of Directors Meeting will be held on August 18 at the La Torretta Lake Resort at Lake Conroe near Montgomery, TX (north of Houston), and that the annual Strategic Planning will occur August 17 at the same facility. Both events are open to any member of TSPS, and attendance and participation is strongly encouraged.

SURPAC donations at the August meeting totaled $87.00. The total for 2012 from Chapter 5 now stands at approximately $1,050.00. Members should realize that with a legislative session looming and the political winds continuing the march to cut spending and limit the size of government, there is a very real likelihood of renewed consolidation efforts that will face surveyors. So, raising funds takes on much importance…please contribute what you can. The Chapter 5 members attending our meetings have done their part. A $20-$50 donation by every TSPS member would quickly raise sufficient funds for the lobbying efforts that lie ahead. Click here for a copy of the SurPac Donation Form.

Chapter Activities Committeee Chairman and TSPS Vice-President Shane Neally recently shared the following information with Chapter Presidents:

Dear Chapter Presidents, Representatives and Area Representatives:

We need to raise $6000 in SURPAC contributions before November 6, 2012. At our Chapter Presidents Luncheon on Saturday August 18th we passed the bucket and raised over $1800, which was great but we need to raise the remainder to be able to contribute to our friends in the House and Senate.

At strategic planning TSPS President Elect, Curtis Strong, encouraged every registered member of TSPS to keep a jar on their desk and donate a quarter a day, Monday through Friday, for a year and that would total $65.00. Then if every registered TSPS member would do the same we would have over $ 74,000 for SURPAC.

SURPAC contributions must be made by personal check payable to SURPAC (no corporate checks can be accepted). Please complete the attached SURPAC Donation Form and mail with your check to TSPS, 2525 Wallingwood Drive, Suite 300, Austin, Texas 78746.

Thanks,

Shane Neally, Chapter Activities Chairman

Shane Neally, RPLS
TSPS Vice-President
Chapter Activities Chair
Texas Society of Professional Surveyors
903.594.4048 Direct
903.534.0174 Office


TSPS Strategic Planning

For those attending the 2012 Strategic Planning session in Montgomery, it was a very productive gathering. It is at such events that TSPS leaders and members from across the State gather to exchange ideas, iron out differences, strategize for the road ahead, and renew friendships. This year a guest speaker also helped enlighten members on how the Texas legislative session works, and how TSPS and its members can best "play the game”. We were once again reminded that if we stand by disengaged, our future will be molded and directed by those whose interests most likely are not aligned with ours. The importance of the Meet & Greet events was discussed, and Chapters that have yet to organize such an event were encouraged to do so in the few months that remain before the 2013 session commences. If we have allies and are a familiar face, then getting political assistance when we need it becomes a less arduous task than if we come knocking as an unknown at the last minute in a time of need. So try to assist in any way you can.


Legislative Update Doug Loveday, TSPS Communication Director

83rd Texas Legislature Just Months Away
Another legislative session looms on the not-too-distant horizon, bringing with it another series of challenges for the TSPS Governmental Affairs Committee.

The critical issue of licensing board consolidation is again on the committee’s radar. A new threat to the autonomy of the Texas Board of Professional Land Surveying may emerge from Sunset Advisory Commission reviews of the Engineer and the Architect licensing boards. If the commission opts for some form of consolidation of these licensing agencies, the land surveying board may find itself in the crosshairs as well.

"We continue to monitor any legislation to do with consolidation of the boards,” said Mickey Nowell, Governmental Affairs Committee Chair. "We’re hearing rumors, but there is nothing substantial. But we’ll have a legislative bill in place as a fallback if they come up with a consolidation move.”

Because the Engineer and Architects boards are both under Sunset review this session, the probability is high a discussion on their consolidation will be undertaken, Nowell said. TSPS is being proactive, however, and Legal Counsel Mark Hanna is working with Sunset Advisory Commission members, he said.

"The goal has not changed,” Nowell said. "We want to be a stand-alone organization. That’s the number one goal.”

However, if a bill is introduced to scoop up the land surveying board in a consolidation of the engineers and architects, TSPS will submit a bill that leaves the three separate boards intact while allowing for the combining of only administrative functions of the three boards.

The Sunset review process targets state agencies every 12 years, opening their books and operations to scrutiny and evaluation from an appointed commission of state representatives, state senators and two public members. A recommendation on the continuation of an agency is then voted on by the commission, and if a determination is made to dissolve an agency (or not renew its mandate), that recommendation is then sent to the full legislature for a vote.

The TBPLS next faces its own Sunset Review in 2017, Nowell said. In the meantime, communication with Sunset Commission members, other legislators and TSPS members is a priority for TSPS, Nowell said.

"The Governmental Affairs Committee and the Board of Directors are making every effort possible to keep the general membership informed regarding consolidation issues,” Nowell said. He’s especially pleased at the local work done by chapters this year as part of the Meet and Greet initiative in which local legislators are invited to special TSPS chapter events to meet and form relationships and friendships their constituents. "Everyone seems to say that it’s best to get to know the individual legislators so that you can have one-on-one conversations” when critical legislation affecting land surveyors moves through the State Capitol, Nowell said.

In other business before the Governmental Affairs Committee:

• Mark Hanna is working with TBPLS on required changes to the Act following actions taken by the NCEES (National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying). The national non-profit organization will now be giving their land surveying exams electronically instead of in central locations throughout the United States. The tests can be taken anytime during the year, unlike previously when they were only scheduled on certain dates. Though the changes to the Texas Professional Land Surveying Practices Act will likely be minimal, care is still required, Nowell said. The Act is a Legislative Act, and any changes have to go back before the legislature for approval.

"Anytime you put the Act out there for a change, representatives or senators can start throwing in changes and open a can of worms,” Nowell said.

• At the request of the licensing board, TSPS will introduce legislation to allow the Board to move more swiftly to stop people practicing land surveying without a license. After identifying someone illegally practicing land surveying, the board today must jump through several legal hoops to stop the actions that have been identified. The first stop in the current process is a State Office of Administrative Hearing (a court), where the Attorney General must appoint someone on the state’s behalf. Resources in the AG’s office are not unlimited, and the process often becomes a long ordeal to procure a temporary restraining order.

"We want to take it to a local court and get a temporary restraining order for someone practicing without a license,” Nowell said. A local court path would speed the process significantly.

• TBPLS is also poised to submit proposed rule changes for publication in the Texas Register. Publication depends on the approval from the Attorney General’s office. The committee will monitor all changes, but most are expected to be mostly housekeeping in nature.

• SurPAC contributions are critical throughout the year but especially now as a new legislative session approaches. The Governmental Affairs Committee, in tandem with SurPAC, is encouraging TSPS members to make donations to this fund to help advance the interests of land surveyors and the land surveying profession at the State Capitol. The funding also helps to secure the support of legislators who may help TSPS and land surveyors fight off negative or harmful legislation that would damage the profession.

Chapter Committee Reports: were provided by various Chairmen:

PUBLIC RELATIONS (Gary Matthews): Gary is actively hunting libraries across the Chapter 5 area that might host a Survey Display. Historically, Chapter 5 has arranged for a Survey Display during March in conjunction with Surveyors Week. But with the enthusiastic response received by library staff and patrons, there is no reason the Displays could not be presented year-round, rotating around town. So, next time you visit your local library, take a look around to see if they offer displays, and if so inquire as to when Chapter 5 might have the opportunity to share the survey profession with their library patrons. Contact Gary at Halff Associates(214-346-6200) if you have questions or have a lead on a potential library site.

EDUCATION: (John Pierce) John administered the CST Level 1 test to 2 Duncanville H.S. students who scored more than 70 on the written portion of the Skills State Survey Contest back in March. One of the students scored high enough to obtain her CST Level 1 certification. This is the third high school student from Texas, and second from Duncanville H.S. to achieve the certification.

The next Certified Survey Technician testing is scheduled for Saturday September 8 at the DFW Education Center of North Lake College.

Three survey courses at North Lake College “made” this semester, with a total of 23 students enrolled. Chapter 5 offers students the opportunity to apply for scholarship monies to cover tuition, text, and/or calculator costs. Contact John Pierce for more info.

TREASURER’S REPORT: (John Pierce): General fund total is $2,462.15, and the Scholarship Fund totals $4,900.71 (prior to the July 13 seminar proceeds, see below).

The July 13 seminar sponsored by Chapter 5 and Halff Associates generated $6,765.02 after expenses. Special Thanks to Jason Jernigan for all his hard work related to this new and innovative idea that offers TSPS members value in their TSPS membership while at the same time educating surveyors so that they may better serve the public. Also, thanks go out to Halff Associates, who undoubtedly sacrificed staff time and office space and resources to host attendees at their offices statewide.

SKILLS USA (Randall Marshall): This is the slow season for Skills, as the students are just returning to school. As the school year progresses, Chapter 5 will have various opportunities to assist with Skills activities. Randall will keep the Chapter apprised of developments. The first opportunity is usually the Fall Leadership Conference in October at TSTC in Waco.

CHAPTER REP (Chris Freeman): Chris attended the TSPS Strategic Planning session on Friday August 17, which included an afternoon presentation on the legislative process. Chris also attended the TSPS Board of Directors meeting on Saturday afternoon, representing Chapter 5 and TSPS members at large. The next Board meeting will be held on Thursday October .

TBPLS: Proposed rules changes are coming. Public comment is encouraged. Next TBPLS Board Meeting is scheduled for Thursday October 11 in San Marcos at the TSPS Annual Convention. Attendees can receive 4 CEUs for attending the meeting.



   On the Horizon ...


Chapter 5 elections are upon us, and results will be forthcoming. New Officers will be installed at the September 11 meeting, with incoming TSPS President Curtis Strong doing the honors.

The next TBPLS Board Meeting is scheduled for Thursday October 11 in San Marcos, and 4 CEUs are awarded to attendees of TBPLS Board meetings. See their website for meeting location and agenda information. (www.txls.state.tx.us).

The next regularly scheduled TSPS Board of Directors Meeting will be held on Thursday, October 11 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in San Marcos, Texas in conjunction with the TSPS Annual Convention.

SIT and RPLS Study Groups
If you are preparing for either of the exams for October, the following study groups have proven very helpful for candidates in their preparation. The groups will typically meet in person as the exam day nears.
SIT Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/land_surv/
RPLS Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rpls_study_group/


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Safety First…..Make it a Priority

Click here for links to various Safety websites that might be helpful to your firm and staff.
 



Chapter 5 Membership…Recruit a Member!
For 2011 there were 182 members of Chapter 5, including 137 registered members. TSPS encourages all Chapters to work at increasing their membership. Encourage your co-workers, staff, and colleagues to consider joining TSPS. Invite non-members to the meetings. Justin Waldrip (ARS Engineers, Inc.) is the Membership Chairman; contact him or any other Chapter Officer for information or guidance.


2012 Chapter 5 MEETINGS & SPECIAL EVENTS SCHEDULE

Meeting Dates
September 11 New Officer Installation by Curtis Strong
November 13 Bill Johnson, Jr., "Past, Present, and Future of Aerial Photogrammetry"




Chapter 5 Meetings typically held the second Tuesday of each month at:

Cantina LAREDO Restaurant
165 Inwood Village, Dallas, TX 75209
(Southeast Corner of Inwood & Lover’s Lane, next to Inwood Theater)
Phone: 214/350-5227     www.cantinalaredo.com
Social/Dinner Time: 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm (order from the menu)
Chapter Meeting: Business @ 7:00 pm, Program to follow



TSPS State Meetings & Events Calendar
October 10-13 Annual Convention in San Marcos
October 11 TSPS Board of Directors Meeting in San Marcos


Chapter Officers for 2012
The Executive Committee for Chapter 5 for 2012 is as follows:

Jason Jernigan, RPLS                President jjernigan@halff.com
Paul Mannel, RPLS 1st Vice President paul.mannel@att.net
Justin Waldrip, RPLS 2nd Vice President jwaldrip2@arsengineers.com
John Pierce, RPLS Secretary/Treasurer jpierce@saminc.biz
John Melton, RPLS 1 year Director jmelton@ndmce.com
Richard Ortiz 1 year Director rich@crstex.com
Randall Marshall, RPLS 2 year Director rmarshall@pkce.com
Gary Matthews, RPLS 2 year Director gmatthews@halff.com
Jerry Lehew, RPLS Past President jlehew@ntmwd.com
Chris Freeman, RPLS Chapter Rep cfreeman@ltraengineers.com
Mark Williams, RPLS Communications markw@rsh.com




Chapter 5 Committee Chairs 12
Education John Pierce
       --SkillsUSA Randall Marshall
Public Relations Gary Matthews
Membership Justin Waldrip
Programs Paul Mannel
Nominating Jerry Lehew







THANK YOU ADVERTISERS!

A special THANKS to all the individuals and firms that have renewed their advertising in the Chapter 5 Newsletter. The funds generated from the ads go into the General Fund of the Chapter, and help with educational and promotional events and activities throughout the year that benefit our members and profession. The rates are purposefully priced at favorable rates to provide maximum benefit to our supporters and sponsors. If you or your firm is interested in adding your business card or larger ad, please contact Chris Freeman (214-979-1144).




TSPS-5 Advertisers should be encouraged to send advertisements in .JPG format at 72dpi/ppi

Business card sized at 2" * 3.5"
Half page ads sized at 5.5" * 4.25"
Full page ad's 11" * 8.5"
Other acceptable image file format as follows: .tif, .bmp, .gif

.PDF are acceptable but require re-formatting which may affect final image quality.

Other file formats will require reformatting and take longer to post. Advertisements may be sent as stand alone HTML based web code. For more specific web code advertisement details please contact Chris Freeman at his email address: cfreeman@ltraengineers.com

Advertisements should be emailed to Chris Freeman at his email address: cfreeman@ltraengineers.com

Advertisements should be sent prior to Newsletter posting on the 1st of each month.

Advertising prices are listed on the TSPS-5.org Pro Listings page.



Thanks to the following Full-Page Ad subscribers:
Geomatic Resources, Courthouse Research Specialists, WDS, and GeoShack.
Be sure to support our friends at these firms, they support us!!

And thanks to the following firms for their contributions to the Chapter by placing a Business card in the Newsletter:

The Wallace Group, Dunaway & Associates, Di Sciullo & Terry, Lamb-Star Engineering, and Halff Associates.



Archived News Letters:

Texas Society of Professional Surveyors Dallas Chapter No. 5
P.O. Box 226933
Dallas, Texas 75222

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