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Noem Administration Ordered Appraiser Certification Chief Not to Talk to Appraisers

A casual line toward the bottom of Eric Mayer’s* report on House Bill 1061 sends a truly alarming signal about how Kristi Noem’s appointee to the post of real estate appraiser certification chief imperiled the proper functioning and federal recognition of South Dakota’s entire real estate appraisal industry. Mayer indirectly quotes Aberdeen appraiser Amy Frink, who testified in favor of HB 1061 in front of Senate Commerce and Energy on Thursday:

Frink told lawmakers when she first spoke with Scott Amundson, who replaced Bren as the Executive Director for the South Dakota Appraisers Certification Program, he told Frink he was advised not to meet with current appraisers [Eric Mayer, “Appraisers Testify ‘Communication Path’ Needed,” KELO-TV, 2022.02.10].

Frink’s actual testimony was that Amundson said his supervisors didn’t just advise him but forbade any such meeting with the appraisers advisory council:

When the executive director that was hired recently was hired, I called him and asked him when could we meet, when can the advisory council get to meet him and when can we introduce ourselves and answer any questions that he might have, and he advised me that he was told by his superiors that we weren’t allowed—he wasn’t allowed to have a meeting with us [Amy Frink, testimony to Senate Commerce and Energy, 2022.02.10, transcribed from SDPB audio, timestamp 1:21:55].

Amundson’s direct supervisor is Secretary of Labor and Regulation Marcia Hultman. Secretary Hultman’s direct supervisor is Governor Noem.

The Noem Administration claims it was trying to reduce red tape in the real estate appraiser certification process. Yet the Noem Administration appears to have viewed interaction with real estate appraisers as mere red tape and forbade its new real estate certification chief from talking with the most knowledgeable people in the appraisal field. That order created a collapse of communication and cooperation with the appraisal industry. That collapse created “pure chaos” in the appraisal industry and opened the door for the state to deploy premature and possibly illegal rule changes that could have induced the federal government to freeze all real estate appraising in South Dakota.

The Noem Administration’s active dereliction of duty makes it all the more urgent that the Legislature pass House Bill 1061, codify the Appraiser Certification Program Advisory Council, and legally require whatever underqualified toady Governor Noem next puts in the appraiser certification chief’s chair to work with those appraisers to come up with safe, workable rules for this basic component of South Dakota’s housing and economic development efforts.

Correction 2022.01.13 08:25 CST: In my original post, I incorrectly attributed the KELO-TV story to Bob Mercer. As you can see below, Mr. Mercer corrected my misreading of the byline, and I have subsequently corrected my citations above. I regret the error and the suggestion that Mr. Mercer underplayed the import of Frink’s testimony.

9 Comments

  1. Arlo Blundt 2022-02-12

    Well…the Governor prefers chaos to order, even in the Housing Market where we all participate to some extent. Her behavior, lack of any structured governance, will erode confidence in a very basic segment of the economy. Unfathomable,

  2. Porter Lansing 2022-02-12

    Only a dumb a*s would tell a subordinate to “not meet with appraisers” and then not say “And, don’t tell anyone about this directive!”

    Only a dumber a*s would not realize that keeping your mouth shut about your directives from superiors was an unspoken absolute.

  3. Jake 2022-02-12

    Directly in the shadow of her ‘paramour president’ she lies. Pierre seems like a ‘mini White-House’ under the former guy.

  4. jerry 2022-02-12

    NOem took a Russian government zoom class and switched from idolizing trump to follow in the footsteps of Dmitry Medvedev, the figurehead that just collects a damn good paycheck from Putin.

  5. Bob Mercer 2022-02-13

    Just to be accurate: That wasn’t Bob Mercer’s report to which this post refers. The story was written by another reporter for KELOLAND News.

  6. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-02-13

    Sorry about that, Bob! I’ll correct the citation above. I’m too sued to assuming that if KELO is writing about Pierre, it’s a Mercer story.

  7. Bob Newland 2022-02-13

    Cory, whose suing ewe?

  8. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-02-13

    Noem doesn’t mind getting all of her advice from advisors she imports from the Beltway and coastal conservative think tanks, but she doesn’t want her regulators getting advice directly from South Dakota experts who might contradict her ideological posing.

  9. grudznick 2022-02-13

    Mr. H, I have heard young Ms. Noem has been counseled to take some advice from fellows like my good friend Bob, and others, who are actual South Dakota citizens and who refrain from the name calling. I hope she listens to that, as Bob has some good words.

    I doubt she’ll ever listen to the out-of-state name-caller crowd, though.
    grudznick has counseled that.

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