A Times editorial: Bring the broken Pinellas construction licensing board under control of the county commission


Pinellas lawmakers took the only sensible step this week to fix the countyís broken construction licensing board, vowing to pass legislation next year to move it under the County Commissionís control.

Months of reporting by the Timesí Mark Puente has detailed financial mismanagement, inconsistent treatment of violators and poor record-keeping at the board that is supposed to protect consumers from shady building contractors. Beyond those operational irregularities, the boardís biggest flaw is its status as an independent agency answerable to no one.

Thatís why a new state law incorporating county oversight ó including term limits for board members and annual reports ó is critical to restoring this public agency into one that actually protects Pinellas consumers.