Meeting of February 8, 2008
E. O. Thompson Building - 7th Floor Public Meeting Room
920 Colorado St.
Summary of Minutes
Board Member, Tom Head began an informal meeting of the Board at 1:30 p.m.
Board Member, Tom Head moved to agenda item B., Roll Call, Certification of Quorum, and Introductions. Board members Judge Tom Head, Araceli Sullivan, Millicent Lundburg, and Melissa Fischer were present. Board members Penny Angelo, Christie Walker, Sofia Leon, Raquel DeRoo, and Ann Murray Moore were absent. A quorum was not seated; however, the Board members present agreed to hear presentations from the staff and the public and take no action.
Board Member, Tom Head, moved to agenda item C., Approval of minutes – Meeting of June 23, 2006. Board Member Christie Walker questioned the number of licensees presented at the previous meeting. Chloe Whalon, Licensing Supervisor responded to the inquiry. J. Henry Phillips requested a copy of the minutes and asked for changes to be made requiring minutes to be transcribed verbatim. Chris Kadas, General Counsel reminded the board that the minutes are a summary of the meeting and that recordings of the meetings are available on the Department’s website. The Board passed on this item and no changes were made.
Board Member, Tom Head moved to agenda item D., Public Comment. The Board heard public comment from Patricia Aguilar, Rolando Hernandez, and J. Henry Phillips. Christina Helmrichs reserved comment for a later time. Luis Garcia, Iris Farias, and Tomas Leon signed up for public comment later in the meeting to address specific issues.
Board Member, Tom Head moved to agenda item E.1., Staff Reports, Executive Office. Bill Kuntz introduced Commission Chairman Frank Denton, and Commissioner Deborah Yurco. Mr. Kuntz thanked the Board members for their service and requested the Board and the public’s participation in the upcoming Strategic Plan discussion group meetings.
Board Member, Tom Head moved to agenda item E.2., Staff Reports, Education and Examination Division. Don Dudley, Director of the Education and Examination Division provided last fiscal year’s oral and written exam pass rate as well as the pass rate for this year. The written exam pass rate is at approximately 50%, and the oral exam pass rate is approximately 8%. Mr. Dudley noted that the current list of continuing education providers is available on our web page and provided a copy to the board.
Board Member, Tom Head moved to agenda item E.3., Staff Reports, Enforcement Division. Enforcement Prosecutor, Anne Dvorak provided statistics on enforcement cases highlighting minimal complaints received. Ms. Dvorak responded to inquiries regarding complaints brought up at the last meeting.
Board Member, Tom Head moved to agenda item E.4., Staff Reports, General Counsel’s Office. Chris Kadas, General Counsel reported on Open Meeting Requirements and quorum issues. Mr. Kadas also addressed Public Meeting Notice requirements under the Open Meetings Act. Mr. Kadas reported that the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center invited him to address municipal court judges and court clerks on the requirements to use licensed court interpreters. Mr. Kadas answered questions from the Board regarding Licensed Court Interpreters’ attendance at the conference meetings, and violations of the open meetings act.
Board Member, Tom Head moved to agenda item E.5., Staff Reports, Licensing Division. Chloe Whalon, Licensing Supervisor reported on licensing statistics and fiscal year 2007 totals, which are 61 new licenses issued, 187 renewed licenses issued, and total population of 626. Mr. Kuntz responded to the public comments regarding requiring a photo on the license, and embossed licenses versus the new thermal licenses.
Board Member, Tom Head moved to agenda item F.1., Work Group Reports, Continuing Education Work Group. The Work Group had not met.
Board Member, Tom Head moved to agenda item F.2., Work Group Reports, Examination Work Group. The Work Group had not met; however, at the last meeting the Work Group directed the staff to revise the target language tests, which is currently under review. Mr. Dudley answered questions from the Board and public regarding the testing process.
Board Member, Sofia Leon joined the meeting at 2:39 p.m., making the meeting a quorum.
Board Member, Tom Head, moved to agenda item C., Approval of minutes – Meeting of June 23, 2006. Board member, Sofia Leon made a motion to approve the minutes as presented. Board member, Melissa Fischer seconded the motion. The motion passed with a unanimous vote in favor.
Board Member, Tom Head moved to agenda item G., Discussion regarding whether to require licensees to post their licenses where they practice. Don Dudley, Division Director outlined the history of this discussion. The Board discussed having the licenses contain the photo of the licensee and imposing upon the court to require proof of licensure prior to practice with the court. The Board heard public comment from Tomas Leon, Iris Farias, and Christina Helmrichs on unlicensed court interpreters. The Board discussed the requirements to post a license within the practice area, and enforcement against unlicensed court interpreters. Rolando Hernandez suggested that the Department work to get all courts to require licensed court interpreters. Chris Kadas, General Counsel stated that the requirements of rule §80.70 require production of a license upon request. The Board agreed to place this item on a future agenda for possible recommendation.
Board Member, Tom Head moved to agenda item H., Discussion regarding methods for increasing the number of Licensed Court Interpreters in Texas Courts. Executive Director, Bill Kuntz asked the Board to brainstorm some ideas to increase the number of licensed court interpreters. The Board heard public comment from Tomas Leon regarding a need to increase interpreter pay. Rolando Hernandez suggested increased education including degree programs. Board member, Melissa Fischer supported the idea of increased education. J. Henry Phillips suggested that licensed court interpreters hold a degree in a specific language in order to be licensed as an interpreter. Christine Helmrichs introduced a start up program which will provide a degree or certificate program for licensed court interpreters.
Board Member, Tom Head moved to agenda item I., Recommendations for agenda items for next meeting. The Board requested a discussion and possible recommendation on a requirement to display the license where they practice. The Board also requested the nomination of a vice chair.
Board Member, Tom Head moved to agenda item J., Discussion of date, time, and location of next Board meeting. The Board decided to meet on June 6, 2008, at 1:30 pm at the E.O. Thompson state office building 7th Floor Public Meeting Room.
Board Member, Tom Head moved to agenda item K., Adjournment. The meeting adjourned at 3:37 p.m.
Ann Murray Moore, Presiding Officer
Licensed Court Interpreters Advisory Board