View Full Version : License
04-28-2003, 09:45 AM
A buddy and I are thinking about starting a small hydroseed business for many of the subdivisions going in, in our area. Are average job size would be about 4000 sq ft.
In order to get an Oregon landscaping license you have to have a landscape contractor license for which you have to show 2 years expererience. Other other states like this? This seems pretty restricitve for spraying seed on the ground.
Are thoughts are to go ahead and get bodned and insured, but keep out jobs under $500 so we would not be required to get a license or hire a landscaping contractor as a consultant so we could get our license. Any ideas?
**Maybe wrong forum sorry.
Your state is over regulated. Remember this next time you go vote.
Oregon is a state that tries to legislate professionalism. It screws the people like yourself that are just trying to start out. Instead it gives Mr. Big the opportunity to pay you low wages and work for him while reducing his competition at the same time. The little guy gets screwed by people that are trying to save the world. That is my opinion.
By committing to do <$500 jobs you are going to have a higher % of overhead than your competitors. This will also keep you from getting that 2 years of experience under an approved contractor. I think it would be best to play their game so that when you go into it you can operate with all the advantages of the others. Go through the licensing because there will be more competition at that unlicensed level.
Once you have that license, it will be working for you by keeping competition down. Look at the playing field and make it work for you. Patience is the key.
04-30-2003, 02:44 AM
Your state is over regulated. Remember this next time you go vote. THAT'S an understatement! This state's licensing requirements for Landscapers is rediculous. You can build a friggin' whole sub-division of homes with less testing and licensing requirements than you need to plant $501 worth of plants or lay $501 worth of sod. It's so rediculous it's laughable.
My advice - move to Vancouver, WA. Licensing in WA is SIMPLE! Just get workers' comp. and a bond and you're a contractor!
Otherwise, there's no way around it, Michael. Other than to try to disband the State Landscape Contractors Board (which has been done in other states in the past when their boards became overzealous). If you're going to be doing this kind of work, you'll need the license. And trust me, the test is a *****. Just check out the sample test on their website. And check out the list of necessary reading materials to study for the test. It's totally rediculous. If enough people like you and me got together and fought the system, ONE DAY we could get it abolished. It would have been easy if Kevin Mannix would have won the election. He was all about abolishing useless government agencies. And I have two big connections with Kevin. So that would have been easy to do.
There is one other solution to your problem. But we need to talk privately. Email me. -Jim
05-01-2003, 04:20 PM
I almost hate to say this, but I agree with J. Lewis on aspects of this issue.
When I took my Oregon landscape tests about 6 years ago, I thought the questions were challenging, but fair.
That test was not the test offered now.
I will be introducing, at the next Oregon Landscape Contractors Board meeting, that the tests be reduced. My personal feeling is that the deck related questions should be removed.
This opinion does not reflect the stand of the entire board, but is my personal view.
M. D. Vaden
Board Member - Oregon Landscape Contractors Board
The construction contractors cannot be compared to landscaping. Landscaping must be handled on its own merits. When a house is built, it cannot be occupied unless it has been inspected for plumbing, electrical, lumber size and framing codes, fire barriers, etc.. So the checks-and-balances exist in that trade.
Landscaping has no code inspectors, or licensed plumbers, or licensed electricians. So landscaping cannot go unregulated completely, especially with all the migrants that want to get into that field without education or experience.
But the devices and licenses should be fair, reasonable and attainable.
The landscape thing reminds me of the medical field. In medicine, the knowledge has become so extensive, that no doctor is expected to know everything. Specializing is available.
Landscape technology, and the number of plant varieties, has become so enormous, along with the pesticide side of things, that at some point, it becomes unreasonable to expect a landscape person to know everything about everything.
That's what can happen when one person is expected to pass a test that covers every aspect of an entire field (plus decks).
One of the best ways to do your part regarding testing, is to write your contribution or ideas in a concise, courteous and professional letter to the Oregon Landscape Contractors Board.
You also can send a copy of letters like that to your local congressman, or, write your congressman.
You will have better results if you can find at least one, two or more people to co-sign, or also submit letters with you.
That's because one strong voice in the industry is the Oregon Landscape Contractors Association. They have a lobbyist, and they do get involved. Some of them feel they are the voice of the industry.
Personally, I have told their new president, that I only give them credit for one voice. That's because although they have 1/2 the landscape contractors as members, THEY DO NOT have the other 1/2 as members.
For that reason, I only give them 1 voice, or 7 - one for each of their board members. For the 500 landscapers they don't have as members, I give those people 500 voices - one for each company.
I feel this is fair, since not every member of the association agrees completely. So only 7 voices max for them.
But politically, the landscape association does have an impact. The landscape board may or may not agree with that association, and the vision statement of the State board differs from that of the landscape association.
Also, the landscape board did not bring itself into being. It was made, or "created" due to landscape contractors, the public and congressmen.
The landscape board can have great flexibility over the degree of test difficulty.
And the test committee happens to have people like contractors, college landscape program department heads and a landscape architect.
SO I HAVE WRITTEN THIS STUFF SO YOU GET AN IDEA OF HOW BIG THE PICTURE IS.
I don't expect any of you to like or dislike the tests, the board, the associations, other landscapers opinions, etc..
But at least you can see the different levels of this issue. It can also show you where you can intervene.
If you are a landscape contractor, you should give a shot at applying for the landscape board. You can actually make a difference. I changed the course of one action at my very first meeting.
So all this licensing stuff is not etched in stone just because it has reached this level, or has been this way. It is alway possible to increase, reduce or alter the licensing methods.
One thing is certain. If you take no action, no "ripples" or change will ever occur from your center of reference.
REMEMBER, what is written here are not the views of the entire Oregon landscape board. This is my personal view and a reflection of my ethics toward my method of contribution.
05-01-2003, 05:14 PM
The construction contractors cannot be compared to landscaping. Landscaping must be handled on its own merits. When a house is built, it cannot be occupied unless it has been inspected for plumbing, electrical, lumber size and framing codes, fire barriers, etc.. So the checks-and-balances exist in that trade. That's true. There are sometimes more inspections, etc. in contruction trade. But still, it seems rediculous that someone can get a construction contractor's license and build a huge deck onto a house, with little testing and ZERO inspections easier than someone can plant $501 worth of plants. I understand where certain risks are involved in certain kinds of landscaping (e.g. backflow or large retaining walls) but there is a TON of landscaping work that can be done with very little risk. For instance, removing a lawn and installing a new one. Or doing a $2000 plant installation job. Or building a cottage stone retaining wall 1.5' tall and 50' wide. Or installing a 50' x 3' flagstone pathway. All of these things have very minor chance of doing any major harm to anything. And as long as you're covered by a bond, worker's comp., and liability insurance, I don't see why you need to pass this very challenging test in order to do stuff like this. And apparently, a lot of other states agree.
I am not saying licensing shouldn't exist. But the threshold for what kinds of jobs a license (or at least a license that requires a stringent test) is required should be a LOT higher than it is now.
Well, that's my 2 cents.
05-01-2003, 11:18 PM
You know, it is not a parallel situation since landscapers get tested heavy, and the construction guys barely.
One way to look at it would not be that landscapers have it hard, but that construction has it easy.
I think I'd like to see an easier landscape exam though.
In some ways, the landscape board does a better job. The Construction Contractors Board's administrator mentioned that the landscape board requirements for contracts are better than the construction board.
For example, landscapers must list a completion date, or tentative date. Construction guys don't. And I found out about that when our window were slow in being replaced. I looked at the contract and found out that there was no completion date. The window guy could have dragged it on for months if he wanted to. Of course he didn't, but I learned a lesson.
That's why we can't compare the landscape board to the construction board. What they don't have to do, is not a valid reason to justify that landscapers have it hard.
A valid reason to justify that landscapers have it hard, is merely to point it out.
One reason people may not want to drag the construction boards lack of tough testing into this arguement is this:
If this does get handled or discussed in meeting or hearings, it may give boards, the public, or lawmakers the idea that contractors have its easy, and instead "beef-up" the construction contractors tests, rather than decrease the landscape contractors tests.
Oh, when you sit on a board, you must make decisions in light of the public need, not what you like.
For example, I had to vote to raise our license fees, because there was no alternative. The wheels of the landscape board leaving the construction board office, as a separate entity, were already in motion before I ever came on the board. So when the landscape board was moved by lawmakers, there was a bare bones minimum amount of cash needed to keep enforcement and licensing functioning. That was voted for.
In fact, I proposed, and offered that we established landscapers pay $10 a year more, so that the new first time licensees could get their first license at the old lower price. But I was voted down 6 to 1.
I introduced that our bond was not proper. The $3000 bond was what it was in 1970s. The price indexes show that our bond should be about $10,000 to accomplish the same task. This is only in discussion. And I never like paying more money myself, but my job is that I was appointed by the governor to make decisions in the publics interest, not mine.
The reason I mentioned the bond thing; Jim Lewis mentioned the $500 exemption category. Best I know, that dollar amount was set years ago. Maybe some of you should research that issue. Find out when the $500 sum began. Then use a price index and find out what amount of money is comparible now. Then maybe you can propose raising the exemption.
There is a big difference in what you can do between $500 and $1000. Or, between $500 and say $1500.
05-02-2003, 09:46 PM
The problem is that the Landscape Board has made an aritifical barrier to entry which only reason could be to protect large lanscaping firm, not protect the public.
If I understand the bonding and insurance requirements, they are reasonable (if not argueably inadequate), and they protect the public by giving them recourse. The years of experience requirement however does nothing to protect the public it only protects existing lanscapers from competition.
They way I understand it now the $500 limit does not help in anyway because you still can not adverstise or solict work any way you can only do jobs that fall in you lap and are under $500.00.
By denying licenses to those that do not meet the license requirement but otherwise meet the contractor requirement licenses, the board is incouraging start-up operators in this situation to disregard getting licensed and possibly getting bonded and insured and working anyway, under the guise of the $500.00 limit or otherwise. How does this protect the public or landscapers repuations.
The is nothing but bueracracy at work.
05-03-2003, 12:14 AM
You sound like my friend's wife. He is a licensed landscaper, and she complains about licensing, etc..
She did not have much to say, except for a look of shock on her face when I asked if she preferred the alternative:
Remove the landscape board and the license.
I read off the benefits:
1. No license required for ANYBODY.
2. No experience required for ANYBODY.
3. No insurance required for ANYBODY.
4. No education required for ANYBODY.
That thought clammed her up in a hurry as she realized how much worse the business environment would become.
To see what people without landscape business interests thought, I did a survey in our area from homeowners.
Every one of the people in the survey, except one, thought that even landscape maintenance companies should be required to have a bond and insurance.
So much for the excuses about landscape company interest on that particular aspect.
That still leaves testing.
Oregon requires 2 years. Only a bone-head is fool enough to think they can present themselves as qualified to take care of full sets of landscapes without having at least 5, if not 7 to 10 years of experience.
Oregon's experience requirement is way below the safe level for business practice. The only reason Oregon does not require more, is that they realize that even though 2 years experience is required, hardly anyone is going to pass the tests unless they have 4,5, or 6 years experience - or maybe a college horticulture degree.
Also, I don't recall who, but they were mentioning other state agencies and the budgets of those - that's irrelevant, Oregon's landscape board is isolated. It collects money for its own licensing, testing, and enforcement. It does not draw from the state budget. In fact, before it left the construction board, the landscape board gave 80% of its license fees to the state budget. Now all 100% goes to the benefit of the landscape industry.
Hey, some people can whine like babies about enforcement (effectiveness of) in other states, but check out the advertising in Oregon.
Yellow page ads
Even the internet
Its rare to find illegal advertising, because the enforcement works.
There is a little monkey business - but even one of those "monkeys" said that they had to "tip toe" around, because they realize the potential for trespassing the law in Oregon.
Actually, the test I saw about 6 years ago, was so fair, that anyone that could not pass it, had no justification for calling themselves a professional landscape person - for all phases.
Now where some work is easier to learn, like turf identification and care, maybe it would be reasonable to start license catergories.
One reason the landscape board eliminated license categories when those did exist, was due to abuse - landscapers working out of their class. So some violaters caused consequences or problems for masses.
05-03-2003, 08:28 AM
First, Lets bring the argument back to the central issue. I did not say that the Landscape board should not exist, nor did I say that, insurance and bonding should not be required. In fact, I stated just the opposite. Why? becuase these requirements do protect the public, by giving the recource in case of incident in the form of insurance and bonding as well as a license on file so that owners of the company could be readily identified.
So of course, Anybody in their right mind would having work done on their property from any kind of contractor would want them to be insured and bonded.
Now on to education. Can you justify to me why someone wanting to put grasss seed down would need to know:
1.Which of the following deciduous shrubs is noted for the display of its berries?
A. Pyracantha coccinea
B. Ilex aquifolium
C. Symphoricarpos albus
D. Mahonia repens
2. Which of the following shrubs would be best in a sunny bed with reflected heat?
A. Skimmia japonica
B. llex cornuta
C. Abelia grandiflora
D. Tilia americana
25% of the test is such questions. Or how about deck framing etc.
Could you imagine if we made general contractors pass the plumbing, electrical, framing, etc, etc, tests. Or more analigous; make the plumbers pass the electrical and framing, the electricians pass the plumbers and HVAC, etc, etc.
Now if you say " One reason the landscape board eliminated license categories when those did exist, was due to abuse - landscapers working out of their class. So some violaters caused consequences or problems for masses."
If enfocement is so effective than this shouldn't be an issue.
and ..thank you for making my point -
"Actually, the test I saw about 6 years ago, was so fair, that anyone that could not pass it, had no justification for calling themselves a professional landscape person - for all phases."
05-03-2003, 10:59 AM
It would not matter to the home owner that wants grass whether or not you knew about Snowberry.
A license for turf - to me - would make sense, and would be fair.
As long as the contractors did not work out of their category.
One Idea a few landscapers have suggested that could help that, is requiring letters on the vehicles with the license number that indicate the license category.
Now my license is 7114.
Under a catergory system, if I was licensed for Grass, Irrigation, and let's say Tree pruning was added, my license would read:
GIT for Grass, Irrigation and Trees.
I think it makes more sense for the economy of a state to have as many qualified people doing as much work as they are capable of doing.
Now for sod, grass seed or hydroturf, those would have to be one category. There is no way that those will ever get put into 3 classes.
So that means at least 2 of them can get involved with grading, and soil preparation. A landscaper should be able to demonstrate a knowledge of soil, grading and drainage (which may be altered).
05-03-2003, 12:03 PM
Perhaps we are closer to agreeing with each other than was previously apparent. I can't beleive that this issue has not come up before now. Has the board already considered the license structure you suggest and disregarded it. Can you enlighten us with the history of the license classification abolition and what the barriers are to re-starting it, especially if it sound like you are in favor of it in one form or another.
I appreciate your dialog and level of common sense you bring to the issue.
05-03-2003, 07:14 PM
I think I will need to break some of this down into medium posts, instead of one massive one.
First, not all the board members ever agree with one another. We are from different parts of Oregon, specialize differently, and some of us are contractors, and 2 are public sector.
Licensing used to include more categories - like one for trees, too.
Now its STANDARD - most landscaping, but not irrigation.
And there is ALL PHASES - standard plus irrigation & LIBDI.
And there is IRRIGATION & LIBDI (backflow).
Apparent abuse, prompted the landscape board and staff to eliminate some catergories. The board does not like reversing direction it appears.
My opinion - I don't care about staying, or reversing. DO WHAT'S BEST. I worked on a model for a show once for 2 months. When I realized my design was unsafe, I trashed the whole thing the next day. I did not try to preserve it. I'm the kind of person that will turn 180 degrees instantly and to full speed.
But one person cannot decide the fate of the industry. What the board does, comes down to the vote (seems like opinion) of the 7 board members.
As some members go, and new ones come in, the opinions change also. And it takes a new member almost a year to get a grasp of the whole picture - sometimes it changes their thinking, sometimes it establishes it.
One thing about Oregon landscape licensing - I found out, via an old member of my college days, that maintenance was licensed here before - unintentionally.
Before the licensing started, maintenance, gardening, planting, weeding, retaining walls, removals, whatever, were all done by unlicensed business people - the only ones around - the "LANDSCAPE PERSON".
There was no landscape contractor, nor maintenance companies then, because the lack of licenses was not there to set the walls or boundaries.
Then, licensing was started for landscape contracting. That meant that a large number of general all-purpose LANDSCAPE PERSONS became licensed for contracting. Since they also did maintenance, that means the bond and insurance and license also resided in their companies covering the maintenance side of work.
Then as the years rolled on, especially the last 10, the WALL of the landscape license built up a dam that is generating an enormous reservoir of maintenance only category companies.
Maybe 20 years ago, when Oregon grew slowly, maintenance companies failed to get a license because they did not want to - the test was quite easy then.
Now, maintenance companies probably fail to get the license because they can't. Either they don't have the experience, or, they can't pass the test.
Even with the rates of the 2 licenses being jacked to about $300, its very attainable. The license, bond and insurance for a new one person operation will come to about $3 per day. Nobody should do anything without bond and insurance, so the landscape license is adding about 90 cents per day.
So the money issue can't be the big one. I'd say the test issue is the big one.
Recently, the landscape board made an adjustment, so that someone without experience, can submit a 2 year degree to qualify to sit for the exam.
I really don't like inexperienced people to get their license, but I conceded into this, figuring that maybe we needed to taper back a bit on requirements.
I'm going to butcher the spelling on this one...
Caveat emptor - let the buyer beware.
This industry covers such a wide range of services that I think it is rediculous to have a one size fits all license for it. As was implied earlier, what does it matter if your lawn installer does not know the difference between an oak and a pine? What does it matter that the college student working through school on your perennial bed knows how to prune an apple tree?
There are a vast amount of services that are intuitive enough, or that undocumented experience is enough to accomplish that it seems to me a dis-service to the public to reduce the availability of people qualified to do such services. The homeowner then must hire and pay overqualified people to do such work. This is really no different than the notion that if one needs a professional pruner, he should have to know about deck construction.
It is just too far ranging a subject matter. Perhaps there could be licensing for areas of landscaping that have a reasonable possibility of impacting public health and safety, such as designing of certain landscape elements, pruning of large trees, application of fertilizers, construction of retaining walls, ... But mowing grass, planting shrubs, seeding lawns, and the like, which is certainly done better with experience and education, is not exactly a menace to society if not done properly.
I think that it is hard enough, in some areas, to get a contractor to show up for smaller jobs even without licensing. It would be far more detrimental for society if a large amount of elderly people, for example, were unable to have "scrubs" legally mow their lawns, cut down damaged branches, rake their leaves, etc,... This is already a problem where I am where we have no licensing for landscape contractors and maintenance people. It would be akin to taking away all the H2B and illegals that work for licensed contractors in Oregon and making them hire people that graduated from Oregon High Schools and lived in the state all of their lives, or some other criteria that serves no practical purpose ... you would have fewer employees and have to pay them more - THAT is exactly what you are doing to the consumer when you require licensing for tasks that are not a threat to health or safety.
What would you think if the government decided you needed to hire only union workers on your mowing crew at $20 per hour? That is pretty much the same impact that licensing this type of work has on the consumer.
Licensing should be to protect public health and safety, not a quality control for consumers.
05-03-2003, 11:25 PM
Here in CT, it's under regulated. All you have to do is send in $160/yr and you get a license good for everything from home remodeling to landscpaping (it all falls unders the home improvement contractor license). No tests, no experience needed.
The license fee goes into a fund in case you rip off the customer.
However, work on new construction requires a separate license (which I don't have).
05-04-2003, 12:01 AM
Basic common sense in most areas of the US, clearly show that qualifications, bond and insurance are a modern need for landscape companies.
One $20 tree, in the wrong place, can easily do from $300 to $5000 in concrete damage.
$50 worth of Fine Fescue grass seed, fertilized according to bag rates, can result in 3" of thatch wasteland requiring anywhere from a $600 to $7000 replacement - cottage to estate.
The wrong plants, or the wrong care, or the wrong design, can turn the tiniest investments into very large occurances of financial harm.
That's why the public supports the common sense of licensing landscape companies.
Also, a turf installer should know their Pine from Oak. Some trees should not have turf under them. And some trees can handle certain soil preparation that other trees can't handle.
The college flower planting person doesn't even need a license in Oregon - annuals and perennials beds are exempt.
But is that person advertising as a landscape professional? That's the typical isolated oddity that gets quoted so often when people want an "apparent logical example" to distract from the real issue at hand - INDIVIDUALS, OR COMPANIES HOLDING THEMSELVES FORTH TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC AS A SOURCE FOR PROFESSIONAL SERVICE.
Now that we are back on the path to reality again:
Now, since license and bond and insurance only cost about $3 per day, that means that a typical cheap mowing service that does 8 twenty minute yards per day will only pass on 37 cents per mowing to the customer - THIRTY SEVEN CENTS. That's like buying a cheap newspaper once per week. That's like buying 1/5 of a gallon of gas per week.
THIRTY SEVEN CENTS per mowing is a rediculously cheap insurance policy for a bond, or insurance.
What if a rock is hurled into expensive care paint? No problem - insurance is there - 37 cents per mowing.
The college yard student drops a few fir cones or round sticks on the sidewalk and the kid next door rolls his shoe sole on one and smacks his head - No problem - insurance is there - 37 cents per mowing.
Like I said THE COST IS NOT THE BARRIER. Anyone that thinks that 37 cents, or less, is going to break the college student, or the old ladies budget, is a DANGEROUS person to the modern society.
Personally, I wish that landscape designers were licensed, and held accountable for the catastrophes that 1/2 or better of them leave behind.
There are few groups in professional horticulture that have so little in-the-field experience and training.
As one VERY experienced college instructor said "our design students are very willing to push a pencil, but not a shovel".
On average, the best group of horticulturists I've encountered are the City Gardeners - like in Portland - and the supervisors of college campus grounds departments.
Usually, these people have a 2, 4 or 5 year degree, and, have about 5 to 20 years of full-time experience in-the-field.
Now were talking about people that could go into the residential sector and do some honest landscape design and install.
Now that its clear that license cost is not the issue, we need to focus on what real avenues will prosper business, yet protect the consumer.
You have your point of view on this which I understand and respect, but I think it is wrong.
I believe that insurance and regulating things that have a high degree of effecting health and safety are generally already covered in most states. After that, I believe that if a person wants to hire people with minimal qualifications to take on a job that it is up to the consumer to make that decision.
When I look at the examples that you cite, I see things that insurance and bond would cover and some that fall into the category of protecting consumers from being stupid. Protecting consumers from themselves (hiring morons) is beyond the function of government in my view.
I spent some time in Oregon and did not notice that people were more helpless or stupid than the rest of the country. Maybe it just was not that obvious, but I think that they probably are not. Why do they feel like they need politicians to protect them from themselves is beyond me, and I live in Massachusetts.
As far as licensing costing the consumer more money, the cost is far greater than the cost of the license. The cost is the reduced availability of contractors, AT LEAST TWO OF WHICH EXIST IN THIS THREAD ALONE, of people able to perform services who do not meet the requirements to be licensed. Supply and demand influences pricing in the free market. Oregon is less a free market because of these socialist policies. That is why socialism fails and free markets flourish.
Excessive regulation gives additional power to some and keeps out others. You are empowered and protected by this regulation while those other two guys are kept from entering the game. I believe that people with strong abilities will out compete those with less on a level playing field and do not need to use the government to keep them out. I think you should let these guys into the game and let the chips lie where they fall.
I think it would be great to have the same certification program you have now, but let anyone do the work. The certified people can plaster that fact all over the place. The public could be educated about the importance of certification. But, don't use it to keep hard working people from making a go of it.
Are these guys more likely to kill children with their hydroseeding hoses or take a job from a certified guy? Are their customers more likely to save a couple of bucks by using them or are they more likely to sustain permanent financial loss due to their lack of knowledge of plants and deck building?
05-04-2003, 11:43 AM
One advantage of my view over yours, is that I am in a position to see most of the iceberg.
It takes all 7 board members, plus experience to see the picture.
And this is in part because we are approached by the governor, congress, consumers, the landscape architects board, the landscape designers association, the arborists association and, also, the plumbers board.
All of those people are aware of consumer and business problems that the average person has not even thought of thinking about.
In addition, we have an assistant attorney general at our meetings as an additional advisor.
As far as "reduced availability of contractors", that's not caused by licensing (primarily), it was caused initially by landscape people that went into business without experience, or a bond, or insurance. It was initiated by yard workers doing business YOUR WAY.
As I said, the landscape board did not bring itself into being - no lifting up by its own bootstraps. It was people of the State of Oregon that wanted the board and licensing here: WHY?:
Because your way failed.
Because your way already was in place and allowed harm to consumers.
So although licensing is not perfect now, it is far better for Oregon than your way.
Most people fail to realize that any form of licensing will cause problems for someone. That's why certain complaints carry little weight. Its the big picture counts.
Laws are not needed when everyone obeys the law. But when people start breaking the law, or are irresponsible in a trade that is too complex for homeowners to judge competency, then laws are required.
Also, laws exist to protect people from their own stupidity. Your post heavily omits that need.
For example, some people ride motorcycles without helmets. Then when they wreck, the expence is paid by other people for their stupidity. (research insurance coverage on this and you will see - the insurance companies are not fools).
Public education does not work.
In Oregon, about 1 customer in 50 will ask for bond and insurance. Same basic situation for references.
And too many people go for the cheap company.
I had a friend that knew I contracted tree service, yet she still accepted hiring another acquaintence to go up that tree with Jerry-Rigging to drop a 90' tall conifer.
The guy didn't do it right, and since it was hanging on by a thread, I had to send her as an emergency call to another tree service that knew how to get this dangerous situation down without anyone getting killed.
In fact, if the wind had blown the wrong way long enough, it would have crushed her condo, or the one next door.
Lack of, or lenient license standards will cause that kind of rediculous business to propagate, to flourish, to increase.
At least now its almost held in check, rarely popping its head.
That ladies neighbor, or the next house, or the other family could have been harmed.
That's why some people need to be protected from their own foolish, selfish, money-pinching and un-wise decisions. Even with laws, people will make bad choices, but we don't need to double and triple the dangerous labor pool for them to choose from. Especially since other people will be affected.
If consumers were not foolish like my friend was, then No Laws would be needed, no license needed.
So part of the license need falls on the shoulders of the foolish consumers - which is about 1 in 3.
LAWS ARE FOR THE LAWLESS. Laws are for a society that houses a percentage of citizens that lack a code of ethics.
You should leave your argument within the category of how difficult the test should be.
License, bond and insurance have proved to keep the flames down.
05-04-2003, 11:33 PM
What's the matter, no more commentators!! You guys were beginning to put up a fight for your cause.
Actually, I enjoy this, plus the other 2 forums this has been on. It helps me practice for hearings and meetings in advance.
I like to see how many reasons and viewpoints there are. This helps me be prepared and avoid getting caught off-gaurd.
Also, I like being able to go back to the board meetings with actual imput from the industry and homeowners, no matter what the concerns are.
Sorry, I do not live on the net.
As I said before, that is your opinion and I respect that.
Remember who actually shows up to do the work. If it is not the guy with the license then we are back to square one.
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