Board MeetingUpton Associates - Raleigh, NC
April 18, 2016
Meeting Minutes and Notes
North Carolina Board for Licensing of Geologists
Monday, April 18, 2016 • Raleigh, North Carolina
Board Chairman Rick Kolb called the meeting to order at 9:14 am. Mr. Kolb read the Conflict of Interest Statement and requested conflicts. Dr. Taylor noted the appearance of conflict due to his being a State employee. He may be required to recuse himself during certain discussions.
Those attending were Rick Kolb, John Stevens, Kenneth Taylor, Bill Miller, Steve Miller, and Lindsey Walata. Board Counsel Mary Lucasse and Board Staff Jean Kirk also attended.
Approval of Minutes
The minutes were previously provided. Dr. Miller corrected a typographical error on page 2 and provided a revision to Page 3. Dr. Miller asked about Continuing Education information in minutes. He recalled that the Board developed verbiage at the last meeting for querying the licensees. Dr. Taylor is working with Barbara Geiger to determine the number of licensees with licenses in other states that might have a continuing education requirement. Mr. Kolb asked about whether a decision had been made regarding emeritus licensure and was informed that no decision had been made. Mr. Kolb asked if the draft minutes could be posted on the website before they were approved. Ms. Lucasse and Ms. Kirk indicated that that the best practice was to post the minutes only after they had been reviewed and approved by the Board.
Dr. Taylor moved to approve minutes as revised. Dr. Miller seconded. Motion carried.
The Board Administrator provided the Financial Report and responded to questions regarding income and expense. Dr. Miller detailed the new rules related to managing money market accounts, such that an investor can actually lose money. Ms. Kirk noted that the board’s investments were in Certificates of Deposit and with the State Treasurer’s Funds. Dr. Miller asked if the CDs were invested in money market accounts. Ms. Kirk will request additional information and update Board. There being no further questions, Dr. Taylor moved to accept financial reports as submitted. Mr. Miller seconded. Motion carried.
Annual Audit Discussion
Dr. Taylor moved to add the audit report to the agenda. Dr. Miller seconded and the motion passed unanimously. Mr. Stevens noted the item on the audit related to the uninsured portion of the investment account. Dr. Miller asked whether the board was making money on the investments. It was asked if the legal/accounting fees could be split out and reported on separate lines. Dr. Taylor moved to receive the annual audit report. Ms. Walata seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Stevens discussed the need to move some portion of the STIF account to another account or CD, which would be FDIC-insured. Mr. Stevens noted that the rates were checked last year and the rates were too low to move. There was discussion regarding moving money from STIF account. Mr. Stevens will provide recommendations at the next meeting.
Ms. Kirk noted that reminders for Ethics Training were previously sent. Mr. Kolb polled the board and all indicated that they had received notices and completed the required training.
Ms. Kirk noted that, at present, there were 1362 active individual licenses and 242 active corporate licenses. License renewal for the 2016-2017 license year is now open. Since March 15, 2016, 97 individual licenses have been renewed and 11 corporations have renewed. Mr. Kolb asked if all on the Board had received the email, they had. Ms. Kirk discussed recent meetings between Board staff and ClickCulture and updates and changes to the website related to the renewal.
The Board was provided with the request for information from the North Carolina General Assembly which was sent to every Occupation Licensing Agency. Board staff will work with Ms. Lucasse to prepare responses to the request.
Legal Report – Mary Lucasse
Ms. Lucasse and Mr. Kolb attended the 2nd Annual Occupational Licensing Agencies Seminar held at the North Carolina Bar. A large focus of the seminar was on the current focus of the Joint Legislative Administrative Procedures Oversight Committee on revisions to the statute relating to occupational licensing boards. The training was an effective way for the Occupational Licensing Agencies to educate themselves regarding best practices and consider necessary changes in light of the Dental Board case. Among the issues discussed at the seminar were complaints. The NCGA is moving in the direction of requiring each board to have a system to receive complaints online. Ms. Lucasse discussed the difference between a notarized and a “sworn” complaint. The NC Secretary of State accepts electronic signatures. The plan is to include that option into the Board’s complaint process. The plan is to include a way to submit complaints online in addition to having printable complaint forms on the website. Also discussed was overlapping jurisdiction between disciplines. How will the board share investigations and resolve disputes? The NC General Assembly has gotten involved in disputes between boards but would prefer that these issues are worked out by the Boards. Representative Jonathan Jordan spoke at the training and provided information regarding the work of the Joint Legislative Committee. Ms. Lucasse indicated that the training also included breakout sessions for attorneys, board members and board staff. Each group informally discussed issues that impacted their work. Ms. Lucasse will review an issue that came up relating to the use of licensed investigators and will report at the next meeting. Mr. Kolb reported on his breakout session. He indicated that they discussed anonymous complaints. Ms. Lucasse indicated that the seminar included training on Board and individual liability, public records law, and Open Meetings requirements.
Hearing on Petition for Judicial Review – Payne v. NCBLG
Appeal of Payne decision will be heard in Alamance Superior Court on May 2, 2016. The hearing is one of four items on the court’s agenda for that day. The hearing will include oral arguments from attorneys. Ms. Lucasse invited board members to attend.
A written report was provided on the Council of Examiners Workshop by Bill Harris. Ms. Kirk read an email conveying Dr. Harris’ thanks for being allowed to serve and attend the meeting on behalf of the Board.
Dr. Taylor noted that the NC Geological Survey has been asked to put together a series of questions for the High School Science Olympiad. The questions will be used at the upcoming Regional and State Competitions. Raleigh-area geology was used. Maps are full color and full scale. Ms. Walata asked that he submit the questions to ASBOG for future inclusion in the Fundamentals of Geology Examination.
Mr. Stevens discussed the recent ASBOG meeting. About 50 people attended and 25% were first-timers. He served on the PG portion. Each question was discussed in detail and those participating took the test the second day, discussed the answers and the questions’ relevancy. Mr. Stevens found the activity very educational. There was a wide diversity of geologists represented, many from environmental consulting firms. Each question had numerous back up references to support inclusion and answers. Several questions were thrown out and will be replaced.
Academic Requirements. Per Dr. Miller, information was sent out and posted on the Board website. Dr. Taylor noted that he received a letter from Scott Marshall at Appalachian State University. In ASU’s Environmental Program, students must be in the Geology program in order to meet the requirements for licensing in North Carolina. If you aren’t in the Geology track, you will not qualify.
Presentation at NC State. Mr. Kolb and Dr. Taylor gave a new presentation regarding geology licensing to undergraduate students at NC State University. They noted that there are a number of typos in the ASBOG presentation. Dr. Taylor indicated that the students are appreciative and asked many questions regarding required expertise for certain kinds of geology. Dr. Taylor noted that students are much more technologically savvy and have access to photos, rather than drawings and notes of the past. Students are diverse, 50-50 male and female, also lots of retired military.
Continuing Education. Dr. Taylor reported that the continuing education survey has been put on hold while the Board is focused on license renewal. The Board does not want to confuse licensees with emails on multiple subjects. At least 5 people have told Dr. Taylor that if a CE requirement is added to license renewal, they will retire. South Carolina currently has a CE requirement in place and audits one third of its licensees each year. The Board agreed that two months after the end of the renewal period, September 1, might be a good time to proceed with survey. There was discussion regarding CE requirements of other boards. Dr. Taylor noted that adding continuing education has been proposed 3 times previously without success. Ms. Lucasse recommends that the survey could also ask what types of activities the licensees would like to see approved for continuing education credit.
Complaint Form. Ms. Lucasse requested the Board’s approval to proceed with the draft complaint form, answers to frequently asked questions, and a flow chart. The Board suggested some revisions. Ms. Lucasse will check with the Secretary of State’s office on electronic signature requirements. The Board was asked to provide any additional questions or suggested revisions to Ms. Lucasse in the next two weeks. Dr. Taylor moved to empower Ms. Lucasse to finalize complaint documents based on the revisions received from the Board and post on website. Dr. Miller seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Update on Licensure in other states: The Board discussed information regarding changes in Texas and Arizona relating to licensing geologists.
Report on GSA Regional Meeting: The most recent meeting was held in Columbia, SC. Dr. Miller reported good participation by students. Randy Kath and Deana Sneyd, Dr. Taylor and Dr. Miller manned the booth at the Southeastern Regional GSA meeting. Dr. Taylor stated that the students often asked about portability of licensing in preparation for the ASBOG exam. Schools represented were Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky, Old Dominion, East Tennessee State, Guilford, Georgia State, Florida Atlantic, Central Florida, James Madison, East Carolina, Radford, Appalachian State, UNC Greensboro, Alabama Birmingham, and College of Charleston. Each student was provided with the ASBOG Candidate Handbook. ASBOG also provided the faculty with a handbook that defines how programs stand up to the standards. Dr. Taylor provided ASBOG flash drives with information regarding the ASBOG test. Next year’s meeting will be held in Richmond, Virginia.
Record Retention Policy: Ms. Kirk reported on information learned from Emily Sweitzer, NC Department of Cultural and Natural Resources regarding Records Retention. Ms. Sweitzer will write a revised records retention policy for the Board. Records that are maintained under this policy will ultimately be housed at the Department of Cultural and Natural Resources.
Appointment to the Board: Ms. Kirk reported there was no news on Ms. Walata’s replacement.
Reimbursement Request: Ms. Lucasse reported that one of the Board members had paid his registration fee to attend the GSA Regional Meeting but was unable to attend. Because the deadline had passed to be reimbursed from GSA, Ms. Lucasse contacted the State Ethics Commission and the Board Administrator contacted the Office of State Budget and Management to determine whether the Board could reimburse the cost of registration. Both indicated that the Board could reimburse the fee paid. Dr. Miller moved that the Board reimburse the cost of registration. Dr. Taylor seconded the motion. Chairman Kolb recused himself from discussion or consideration of the motion. Motion carried, one recused.
Replacement Certificate. Licensee Katherine Hackney requested a replacement wall certificate. She requested that the replacement certificate be signed by the persons who originally signed her certificate rather than the current Board. Ms. Lucasse reported that the General Statute gives the Board authority to issue certificates. It is not clear whether the Board could delegate this authority to previous Board members. If the Board is inclined to consider the request, Ms. Lucasse requested time to do some additional research on the question. Ms. Walata moved that the current board sign the replacement certificate and request that the Board Administrator inform Ms. Hackney that if she wants to pursue original signatures, there will be a delay, assuming that previous members are still available. Steve Miller seconded the motion. The vote was four in favor, one opposed. Motion carried.
ASBOG: Next Annual meeting of ASBOG will be held in Lawrence, Kansas.
Dr. Taylor moved to go into working session; Mr. Stevens seconded.
Upon motion and second, the Board resumed Open Session.
Ms. Kirk read the applications for approval.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 3:33 pm.
John Stevens, Secretary/Treasurer