The Houston Chronicle reported that the Sunset Commission believes that the Texas Residential Construction Commission should be dissolved. The reader comments seem to support this notion, but I do not. Maybe this is due to the fact that I am a real estate professional? Well, I do see an issue with various commissions, so I am not entirely in favor of them; however, I think that there is the possibility of improving them.
Does TRCC represent builders or the homeowners? This is the heart of the matter which on paper looks like the homeowner should benefit, but in practice seems to favor the builder (when reading through the Chronicle article and comments). Any commission regulating an industry in Texas is composed of members from the industry to be regulated as well as public members who should be looking out for the public. My understanding is that the public members are appointed by the governor, so if they are not looking out for the public, should we not blame the governor? In my opinion, public members follow suit with the industry members, since the environment is conducive to do so. TAR updates its real estate forms with the tag line that it benefits the consumer, and TREC adopts the forms as standard. I am not aware of any real debate.
How can we find public members who will represent the public? First, taking the power of appointment away from the governor may be a start. The problem is who will place them into those commissions. I would love to see consumer groups with a proven track record of looking out for the public to have some voice in such a process. Somehow taking the process out of the hands of politicians to a degree may be the solution. If the governor could only choose from a list populated with consumer advocates, may improve the image of these commissions.
The quality and number of public members should be our focus. If you have a better idea, then share it. Just getting rid of the TRCC is not the solution. How to effectively oversee the construction industry and correct their mistakes is the course we need to find.