Williamson Central Appraisal District
Board of Directors Meeting
Charles Chadwell, Chairman, called the regular meeting of the Williamson Central Appraisal District Board of Directors to order Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 9:03 a.m. Board members present; Charles Chadwell, Harry Gibbs, Donald Hisle, Jon Lux, Lora Weber, and Larry Gaddes. Quorum declared.
This meeting was conducted via a Ring Central video conference. A member of the public and some of the District’s management staff were in attendance at the virtual meeting.
Chadwell welcomed the Board’s newest member, Lora Weber, to the meeting.
Pledges of Allegiance
Election of Officers
Lux nominated Chadwell for the position of Board Chairman. Gibbs seconded. Chadwell announced that by acclamation he would remain as the Board Chairman.
Lux nominated Gibbs for the position of Vice Chairman. Chadwell seconded. Chadwell announced that by acclamation Gibbs would act as Vice Chairman.
Lux nominated Hisle for the position of Secretary. Chadwell seconded. Chadwell announced that by acclamation Hisle would remain as the Board’s Secretary.
Receipt of Public Comments
There were no public comments.
Employee of the Year Recognition
The District’s 2020 employees of the year were recognized.
Lankford announced that David Scott, a member of the District’s I.T. department, was instrumental in assisting staff during the quarantine and that he is always willing to help whenever needed. Lankford congratulated Scott.
Lankford also introduced Heather Hayden, one of the District’s land appraisers. He indicated that, although Hayden had only been with the District for a few years, she was one of the top performers in her previous department. Hayden was moved into the land department and has taken on her role as if experienced. Lankford expressed his appreciation to Hayden.
Chadwell congratulated both Scott and Hayden and announced his gratitude to Lankford for recognizing employees that go above and beyond.
Taxpayer Liaison Officer’s Report
Report on Property Owner Contacts
Charley Rouse, the District’s Taxpayer Liaison Officer, was present to report on the status of his contact with property owners.
Update on Appointment of Appraisal Review Board by Administrative Law Judge
Rouse also reported on the Appraisal Review Board (ARB) appointments. He indicated that the District was still awaiting word on this list of appointments. Rae Wilhite, the District’s Records Manager, was present and mentioned that she had conversations with the judge’s office and that nominees should be provided soon. Rouse expressed his concern with having appointments made in time for the required training.
Consider approval of minutes of the Board of Directors for the regular meetings – November 12, 2020 and December 3, 2020.
Hisle moved for approval of both the November 12, 2020 and December 3, 2020 minutes as presented. Lux seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Consideration of Monthly Financials
The October and November 2020 financials and expenditures were reviewed and filed for audit. Lankford clarified the utilities budget line-item numbers; indicating that not only had the City of Georgetown raised their electricity rates, but additional phones and bandwidth had to be purchased during the time when District staff members were working from home due to the pandemic. He announced that the general services budget category was still very healthy. Gibbs requested a further breakdown of utilities for budgeting purposes.
Agricultural Advisory Committee
Lankford mentioned that the current Agricultural Advisory Board members had all agreed to serve again. Those members are as follows: James Davidson, Gene Lawhon, Billy Carlson, Wilbert Vorwerk and Mark Prinz.
The purpose of this committee is to advise the District’s agricultural department regarding expenses and revenues to formulate net value to land. Lankford indicated that the committee meets a few times a year and that the District has been satisfied with the results and the work that has been done. He indicated that by law the committee must meet at least once a year.
Chadwell moved to approve the listing of Agricultural Advisory Committee members as they were presented. Lux seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
District Cleaning Service Contract
Lankford announced that when budgeting for 2021, the current cleaning company was not meeting the District’s needs. Michael Page, the District’s I.T. Manager, provided his recommendation of hiring Express Commercial Cleaning, Inc. for the District’s cleaning provider. He informed the Board that a price comparison had been conducted and that a 3-year contract was being proposed which could be cancelled automatically for non-performance. It was indicated that a 30-day notice was required to end the contract with the current cleaning company.
The pricing schedule was discussed; year one pricing was listed at $2,930 monthly and year two at $3,025 monthly. Lankford announced that the District fully expects this company to perform at a high level. Page indicated that the company had agreed to a 2-year contract at no additional cost. The third year of the contact will be discussed at the appropriate time.
Hisle made a motion to approve the contract with Express Commercial Cleaning, Inc. as presented. Lux seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
2021 TAAD Conference & Voting Delegatee
Lankford announced that since this year his name would be included on the ballot for the Texas Association of Appraisal District (TAAD) officers, he did not feel it would be appropriate for him to be named as the voting delegate. Lankford asked the Board to designate the voting delegate to Chris Connelly, the District’s Deputy Chief Appraiser, and to name Aaron Moore, the District’s Director of Appraisal, as the alternate.
Lankford announced that all Board of Director breakout sessions had been removed from this year’s conference agenda.
Lux moved to appoint Chris Connelly as the voting delegate for the 2021 TAAD Conference and Aaron Moore as the alternate. Hisle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Chief Appraiser Evaluation & Compensation Process
The Chief Appraiser evaluation and compensation process item was postponed for a future agenda.
Chief Appraiser’s Report
Deed Automation Software Update
Lankford reminded the Board that about a year ago, the District had begun working with the company Just Appraised. This company worked to scrape data from both the District’s records as well as the County Clerk; this data would then be entered into the system. Lankford indicated since the District was not seeing the return on investment that it had hoped for, he had met with the company’s president to discuss the possibility of ending the contract.
Lankford discussed the possibility of another software (Eagle Recorder) through the District’s current software vendor, Tyler Technologies. He indicated that this software is already being used at the County Clerk’s office and since this was owned by the District’s current vendor, it could match deed transactions without additional work. Lankford announced that he would need to meet with the County Clerk in order to make this transition.
Orion User’s Group Meeting Update
Lankford discussed the recent Orion User’s Group meeting. This meeting is generally held at the District’s office and attended by other appraisal districts throughout the state who utilize Orion software. He indicated that, during this meeting, development items concerning the District’s appraisal software are discussed.
Lankford announced that the meeting this year was held virtually with around ten other offices in attendance. He indicated that a list of development items was provided to Tyler Technologies and then forwarded to attendees for priority ranking. Lankford indicated that this meeting was a success and that the development priority results should be available in the coming weeks.
Lawsuit, Arbitration and SOAH Reports
Lankford reviewed the lawsuit and arbitration reports. Discussion followed. There weren’t any State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) on which to report.
Lankford announced that normally photos of Board members are taken anytime there is a change in membership. He mentioned that Weber had joined the Board filling the remainder of Rufus Honeycutt’s term. It was decided that photos of Board members would be taken at a later time.
Board Agenda Additions for Future Meeting
• Chief Appraiser Evaluation & Compensation Process
There were no Board announcements.
The Board set their next meeting date as follows:
Thursday, February 11, 2021 at 9:00 a.m.
A decision will be made closer to this meeting whether it will be held virtually or in-person.
The meeting adjourned at 10:06 a.m.
Charles Chadwell, Chairman Donald L. Hisle, Secretary