Can Fairy Tales Come True?
A story about how state associations work for you.
It all started with a simple complaint from one of our story’s heroes, a Texas Automotive Recycler Association (TARA) member.

Our hero sent a complaint to TARA to file with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) that pointed out that a bad dude was in the neighborhood. This bad dude (BD) was running a business that strongly resembled a Used Automotive Parts Recycler (UAPR), but low and behold, he did not have a license to operate this business. (Heard this one before?)

BD had a sign on the street and ads on the Internet and in the yellow pages, but no TDLR license. How could it be, then, that BD advertised and sold used automotive parts?

Our TARA hero was determined that this should not be. The complaint was sent to TARA and filed with the TDLR, and we twiddled our thumbs for a while waiting for the BD to get a kick in the pants. The TARA hero kept asking, “Why are they not doing something?” And, just when it seemed that all was lost – as it does in most fairy tales – the superhero, Mike Shirk (MS) from the TDLR enforcement department, swooped in to save the day.

Superhero MS contacted TARA and said, “I am going to take BD down.” He immediately leapt into action and gave the BD notice that he would be shut down by a certain date if he did not have a license. Of course, that date came and went, and BD still did not have the license. Then, superhero MS issued a cease and desist order and, after many battles, BD said he would shut his gates and would obtain the required license.

Could it be our happy ending? Not so. Our TARA hero did not believe all was well and check-
ed to see if BD was really closed. Not surprised, he found that BD was still selling used parts behind the closed gates. When customers would call BD for a part, he would tell them to come to the gate, honk, and the part would be brought out to them. TARA even called BD to request a part to verify this was happening.

So superhero MS came to the rescue again, adding more fines on BD. After bringing in the big guns, fining him a lot of money per day until he got the license, BD’s gates were shut and all was well. In the end, BD paid hefty fines, now has a license, and everyone is happy. TDLR did their job.

TARA hero did his job. It felt really great to be part of the story and see what can happen when people take action working together.

This is just one story of many on how your state associations fight for you. Become a part of one and make a difference in your state!

Cheryll Lambright is the Executive Director of the Texas Automotive Recyclers Association.

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