One of the major problem created by Scott Amundson, the now-departed GOED flunky Kristi Noem threw into the real estate appraiser certification office, was his failure to communicate with or convene a single meeting of the advisory council established in 1991. That failure contributed to driving the appraiser profession in South Dakota into what one appraiser calls “pure chaos.”
One reason Amundson could get away with that damaging sloppiness is that the Appraiser Certification Program Advisory Council is an informal group, not mandated by law or rule.
Representative Linda Duba (D-15/Sioux Falls) seeks to rectify that oversight in appraiser oversight with House Bill 1061. Co-sponsored by Senator Reynold Nesiba (D-15/Sioux Falls) and Senator Kyle Schoenfish (R-19/Scotland), HB 1061 would establish the ACPAC as a creature of statute with ten members (two more than currently listed): five licensed or certified appraisers, one mortgage broker, one licensed real estate broker, one bank rep, one member of the state Real Estate Commission, and one rep from the state Division of Banking. Each member would serve a three-year term and be limited to three consecutive terms. The Secretary of Labor and Regulation appears to be charged with picking the members.
HB 1061 would require the Secretary to convene the ACPAC quarterly. The bill would also guarantee the council members travel and subsistence reimbursement and a per diem. (Subsistence: does that mean they get bread and water from Lynn’s Dakotamart and not meals at Red Rossa?)
Duba, Nesiba, and Schoenfish heard about Amundson’s failure to convene the advisory council during their hearings on the turmoil caused by Governor Kristi Noem’s nepotistic intervention in the normal operations of the Appraiser Certification Program and her ousting of Amundson’s predecessor. HB 1061 is the second bill filed to address the trouble Noem created in the appraisal field, but it is the first to address the Appraiser Certification Program directly.
Related Staffing: The Department of Labor and Regulation is advertising for a new Appraiser Certification Program director. Let’s hope that advertisement signals that Governor Noem will not simply appoint her miffed daughter to the job. The advertised director pay is $49,840.56 to $57,503.52 (seemingly low for someone who has to make sure South Dakota follows some pretty serious federal regulations on a complicated and economically vital profession). Closing date is February 7.
I don’t blame Mr. Amundson for anything that occurred or did not occur during his truncated term. He probably couldn’t take any action without receiving permission from the Department Secretary. He was given a desk and chair but most likely could not open his mail without permission. Even politically appointed state employees have a shred of self respect. His choices were to resign and get on with his life or climb into a bottle, and stay there.