Wednesday, April 09, 2008

I'm Not Worried, I'm Angry

This is a follow up to yesterday's rant ( linked via title bar ). I'm sending this via the Snail and it will also be faxed to the local office and the office in Austin.

April 9, 2008

Debbie Riddle
State Representative
3648 F.M. 1960 West Suite 106

Houston, TX 77068

Representative Riddle;

I wish to meet with you face to face to present ideas on changing current legislation, rules and regulations which have been imposed on the locksmith industry. The Texas Department of Public Safety, Private Security Bureau (DPS/PSB), acts as if Texas is a police state in the manner in which they carry out their duties to enforce laws, rules and regulations designed to protect the locksmith industry and the public from unscrupulous or unskilled locksmiths.

I would like to alter the current methods which have been put in place, tyrannical measures which are unreasonable, burdensome and reckless in a free society governed by people of principle. I require the assistance of my duly elected representative to introduce needed changes which would benefit the greatest portion of the locksmith industry while continuing to uphold minimal standards intended to protect an unwary public from those who are not qualified to work as locksmiths or those who would take advantage of those skills on an unsuspecting public.

The DPS/PSB has shown a decided lack of common sense in their approach to the locksmith industry from the onset of locksmith licensing. I wrote my opinion on this in August of 2004 and sent a copy to the DPS/PSB; a complimentary copy was sent to your office as well. In that letter I outlined the many reasons why I was dissatisfied with the licensing procedures and the DPS/PSB as a whole.

In May of 2006 I wrote about my concerns for the manner in which mandatory continuing education was implemented; a complimentary copy was sent to your office. The purpose of such continuing education was poorly thought out, assuming any thought was applied to begin with when such mandates were tied directly with licensing, which is directly tied to making a living in a free market. No consideration or latitude was provided for those members of the locksmith industry who could be considered “veterans” or experienced sufficiently to forego remedial or redundant training to satisfy the demands of a bureaucracy run amok.

This past week I received an official letter from the DPS/PSB informing me that my business license was suspended; not because of any legitimate violation of law, rule or regulation, because they hadn’t bothered to open the certified letter which verified my having complied with insurance requirements. The documents were provided on time, were signed for and date stamped by the DPS/PSB; unfortunately their incompetence in office management, along with their thirst to wield power like a five year old with a loaded revolver prompted them to the conclusion that my business was a threat to the safety of the public. The DPS/PSB had the audacity to demand an additional $ 150 to reinstate our locksmith license and our ability to do business in the State of Texas; but also to include further proof of compliance with the law, rules and regulations which mandate liability insurance, something which had already been provided in a timely manner.

We attempted to call them yesterday immediately after receiving their threatening letter; but nobody was in the office of the DPS/PSB from 4:00pm until 5:00pm to answer the telephone, our having been put on hold until such time as we either gave up, began collecting unemployment or died. This morning we were able to talk with one of their employees and upon explaining our compliance and their inefficiency, we were told that a letter had been mailed advising us to disregard their already imposed license suspension. My wife said I shouldn’t have worried about it; I wasn’t worried, I was angry for their incompetence and unforgivable arrogance.

There should be a reduction in the cost of acquiring a renewal locksmith license, which is the State of Texas taxing industrious folks based on their ability to generate business rather than a tax on a realized increase; in other words theft by threat. There should be a relaxation of the rules and regulations imposed which require additional education based on the natural laws which govern enterprise; those who can get the job done get to stay in business, those who can’t go out of business. The State of Texas has no business insisting any individual improve on something which has already been proven to work; knowledge of new technologies is optional and has nothing to do with previously gained skills and should not be tied with the legal right to obtain a living. Lastly, the idea of applying strict adherence to deadlines on meaningless paper work for an already established company requires a much more relaxed window of enforcement; an area of efficiency which the DPS/PSB should avoid based on their inability to comply.

These 3 issues need to be properly worded to restore the credibility of the State of Texas as far as providing a safer environment for the locksmiths who use their skills in an honorable and fair manner for those citizens who require those services with the least amount of bureaucratic interference. Please contact me in order to arrange a face to face meeting to address these issues.

Thank you,

T. F. Stern


Chris said...

I'm guessing you never heard squat back from this fine, elected individual who really really cares about the state of texas and the people in it. Ok, ok, yes, pure sarcasm. She, like all the other politicians, are out for nothing but personal gain/networking, and their 15 mins of fame, along with a nice, fat pension on the taxpayer's (or locksmith's) dime!

Chris said...

To add, I really wonder what would happen to the industry, along with the ridiculous, strangulating laws "governing" it, if EVERY locksmith in the state flat refused to hand over another contribution to the texas bureaucracy for licencing.