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Found 2 results

  1. Spread the wealth? Leveling the playing field? Catherine Monson is comical. Catherine Monson doesn't even know her head from a hole in the ground to begin with when it comes to her "quickie, stickie" sign industry let alone the electric sign industry. She thinks it's "Unfair, and what ARE we supposed to do?" Some may remember her cluelessness from our review of here episode of "Undercover Boss" http://www.thesignsyndicate.com/forums/index.php?/topic/5597-undercover-boss-fastsigns/ Maybe we can stick her on a lift again but this time let her play around with some 800ma lamp connectors or a 15,000 volt tranny. What are 1,500 sign shops supposed to do if they don't have a master electrician in staff? Simple. Don't contract anything to do with electric signs. There is nothing hard to understand that in order to subcontract, you need to be a contractor. What's next, Home Depot to have a sign isle coming soon, shop for a sign and they sub too? maybe we should be able to install a sign and sub out the water heater work too? Good for Leona! Fight the ignorance of the elected officials. Here's a better question, what's the incentive to go out and get my master electricians license if all I have to do is hire one and slide the liability and responsibility on them? Why go through the proper channels of getting a license and understanding a trade an safety if all you have to do is seek one out to a job you think MIGHT be safe. Where is the International Sign Association on this? I wanna see them bring the rain on this one. Hopefully they'll correct Mrs Monson right after they've been congratulating here for her tv wash up. Illegally licensed Sign A Rama thread http://www.thesignsyndicate.com/forums/index.php?/topic/4491-illegal-unlicensed-signarama/ Controversy over electric signs splits industry By Laylan Copelin American-Statesman Staff Since last year, state authorities have conducted sting operations to enforce a new, literal interpretation of a 2005 law that bars sign companies from selling electric signs unless they are owned by master electricians or employ one. Luis Escobar, who has owned his FASTSIGNS franchise in South Austin for 15 years, has stopped selling electric signs because he wants to subcontract the installation to a master election a violation of state law. The dispute over employing versus subcontracting master electricians has split the sign industry in Texas and spilled over at the Capitol. The Texas Sign Association, dominated by master sign electricians, favors the tougher regulation while FASTSIGNS, which has 58 stores statewide, is supporting legislation to allow subcontracting again. Each side accuses the other of trying to get an advantage on the competition. They have essentially created a monopoly of sorts, Catherine Monson, CEO of FASTSIGNS Inc., said of the Texas Sign Association. Although electric signs only account for 5 percent of FASTSIGNS revenue, Monson SAID customers are looking for the lowest price and the greatest convenience as they shop for vinyl banners, building or yard signs and electric signs. The customer doesnt want to go to one supplier for one type of sign and another for an electric sign, she said. Thats particularly true for corporations who can buy their signs from out-of-state firms, through the Internet, Monson argued. Leona Stabler, executive director of the Texas Sign Association, said FASTSIGNS is trying to escape regulation altogether. If Texas creates a law, it should be able to enforce it, Stabler said. If the exemption (for subcontracting) passes, no one needs a license or worry about public safety. Monson called that disingenuous, saying FASTSIGNS always subcontracted with master electricians, and that the law already allows 23 exemptions from the need to put a master electrician on staff, including pool contractors who subcontract electrical work. Stabler suggested that FASTSIGNS hire master electricians as part-time employees a solution that Monson said is impractical. She said there are 1,500 sign companies in Texas: How are you going to find 1,500 part-time master electricians? Both agree there is a problem with rogue sign companies installing electric signs without using a master electrician. Bill Kuntz, executive director of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations, blamed a quirk in the wording of the 2005 law for the controversy. But he also cited a recent fire at a North Austin restaurant as the reason for requiring master sign electricians. Kuntz said the agency is still investigating whether the fire was caused by improper installation. Weve had some cases where people were installing signs without master electricians, Kuntz said. To enforce the law, state regulators pose as customers to see whether companies are complying. But does it really matter whether the installer is on staff or a subcontractor as long as the installer is a master electrician? State Rep. Bill Callegari, R-Katy, doesnt think so. This interpretation is not what we intended, Callegari said of the 2005 law. It guts the concept of subcontracting. Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, has filed the same legislation allowing subcontracting. Her bill, SB 803, is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Business and Commerce Committee on Tuesday. Without a change in the law, Monson said, Were all out of the electric sign business.
  2. Here's something interesting coming down the pike. What does it mean for The International Sign Association? Will this new proposed law benefit our Industry? Will this new law benefit our industry by not benefiting our Sign Associations, or is it a dis-benefit and dis-service because it doesn't serve our Associations? Well here is what's coming, when it comes to inviting government employees and appointees to WAGs, Widely Attending Gatherings (of diverse opinion or position, not just one) Proposed OGE Regulations Widely attended events (the name given under the House and Senate Gift Rules) and widely attended gatherings (the executive branch’s version) are exemptions from the gift rules restrictions. Government officials may attend events featuring a number of different people (more than 25 non-Congressional attendees for the legislative branch) when the government attendee is either speaking at the event or his or her attendance will further the government’s interest. These exemptions allow officials to attend events such as trade shows, social gatherings, roundtable discussions, and other similar events where government officials have the opportunity to interact with the private sector. Since the beginning of the Obama administration, however - political appointees have been barred by Executive Order 13490 from attending widely attended gatherings unless speaking at those events. This order requires political appointees to sign “ethics pledges” that promise, among other things, that appointees will not accept gifts from entities that employ or retain lobbyists. Therefore, events such as tradeshows, panel discussions, and social events are off limits unless the political appointee is speaking (attendance is limited to the day of the speech), or if the appointee pays admission. OGE or Office of Govenment Ethics proposes to extend the EO to all executive branch employees. This will mean that organizations, particularly associations (which often have events that fall into the widely attended category), will not be allowed to invite executive branch employees to their widely attended events unless the employee has a speaking role. This could have a major impact on associations that wish to interact with government employees at their events. Some are of the opinion that this will "Stifle" relations/eschange of information between government and the public sector. The OGE is quoted as saying: Under the new proposal another issue being addressed is the "Registered Lobbyist" or "Lobbying Organization". While trade associations are calling on the OGE to categorically exempt Trade Associations from this definition, many believe this exemption is NOT justified. The OGE is quoted as saying: The proposed rule did add some exemptions of lobbyists, and that's for Institutions of Higher Learning, Nonprofit Professional Associations, Scientific Orgs and Learned Societies. The OGE has said it acknowledges that certain WAGs provide educational and professional developments that may further agency interests, ” there is often a cozy relationship between these organizations and industry groups" More than 400 Trade Associations have sent their comments and concerns similar to ISA's Letter attached. ISA.pdf Many business's are outraged with the Obama Administration for the proposal, "its a slap in the face" to business. This is odd, I thought Earlier in the year Lori Anderson of International Sign Association who wrote this letter to reconsider was orgasming over Obama's Apperance at Gelberg Signs, AND quoted as saying. What happened? Many that run this Association have been for government meddling in the public sector, OSHA, Cap & Trade. Why the outrage? What else does this proposal prevent? • limits on the amount of money lobbyists and their employers can spend on public officials • Gone are free tickets • golf outings • social trips • regular one-on-one dinners with lobbyists The Lobbying culture is upside down right now. What will this mean for our Sign Industry, for you and I? Well, if we look at the history of Associations and Legislation in the bigger picture outside our associations fighting signs codes and EMC's for their constituents fellow board executives. It might not mean a Damn Thing! It might be better for us as a industry, and as a country? If you think about it, what will it do? What have our associations done for us except the two points listed above when it comes to regulation? In the past our Associations like International Sign Association, California Sign Association just roll with CA Title 24, Demand Response, the Energy Commission Decisions, OSHA and have just about managed to turn all of those into programs and seminars. Now we see a promotion of UL-E or UL Green Leaf as something of Non-Fiction. You're all a bunch of children, get in line. They will make you a lunch, a snack, pat you on the head and send you off for schooling, and whatever else is to come. Maybe some distance from government and bureaucracy and undoing of some cozyness will somehow benefit US! I can't say for certain, but if these associations just attend meetings with government to figure out a way to turn it into a program instead of doing what's right and fighting for freedoms and liberties then this new proposal/law from the OGE, can't hurt. Maybe something they don't like is somehow a benefit for you and I? I mean, if you're not going to make useful, with the time and resources you have, what loss will it be? We live in an age where there it too much cozyness between public and government sectors, whether it be crony capitalism, Government and insider trading, bailouts. Just my opinion, but I think it will benefit us all not just our trade if we all just stay on a first name basis, and not cozy up. We live in an a age where money talks, and ethics walk. Sometimes membership money drives, program profit farming are more important that our own ethics of doing what's right when it comes to protecting the reason why you're there in the first place. Oh I don't know, disciplining board exec/chair members and assoc. members who are in ethics violations. Now, don't get me wrong, this new proposal may have some negative effects for us, but does it out way the possible benefits? Just my thought for the day, I thought I'd share
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