Williamson Central Appraisal District
Board of Directors Meeting
Jon Lux, Chairman, called the regular meeting of the Williamson Central Appraisal District Board of Directors to order Wednesday, July 12, 2023, at 9:02 AM. Board members present; Jon Lux, Harry Gibbs, Lora Weber, and Hope Hisle-Piper. Mason Moses and Larry Gaddes were absent. Quorum declared.
Some of the District’s management staff were in attendance.
Pledges of Allegiance
Receipt of Public Comments
There were no public comments.
Taxpayer Liaison Officer’s Report
Report on Property Owner Contacts
Glenda Williams, the District’s Taxpayer Liaison Officer (TLO), was present to report on the status of her contact with property owners. Williams indicated that all issues had been resolved.
2022 Financial Audit Report
Lankford announced that the District’s financial audit report had been delayed by the auditing firm. He indicated that he expected to see the audit later this week or early next week, just not in time for this meeting. He announced that the final unspent revenue numbers would be needed prior to the September Board meeting date.
2024 Budget Workshop
2024 Budget Review
The salary survey of the District’s entities was distributed to the members. Lankford reviewed these numbers and announced that they were showing to be supportive of what was placed in the District’s budget.
Gibbs had requested that the District review a 10-year history of the budget buydown; both the building reserve purchases, and actual building expenditures were reviewed. Gibbs expressed the importance of placing monies in the building reserve accounts, due to the age of the building, instead of asking the District’s taxing units for additional funds for these purchases. Lux felt the District does an excellent job of budgeting appropriately but agreed that having the reserve funds was necessary and that these reserve monies should be reviewed in the future.
Employee Health Insurance Presentation
Lankford introduced Debra Spellings and Leticia De La Garza with Benefits360, the District’s insurance consultants. It was indicated that the District had been working with Benefits360 for a number of years regarding its health insurance program.
Spellings announced that United Health Care had been the District’s insurance provider for at least 15 years; however, this year the pricing wasn’t as competitive with others in the market. She indicated that the current Navigate plan requires a referral from a primary care physician. She announced that a survey of District staff had been conducted and this was the biggest complaint. She also announced that the renewal for the same benefit plan, even with negotiating a lower price, shows a significant rate increase. Lankford indicated that a 10% increase for insurance had been placed in the District’s budget.
Spellings informed the Board that a proposal was received from Blue Cross Blue Shield. She reviewed the four alternative plans; indicating alternate three to be the preferred option getting as close to the benefits currently provided with no referral required.
Spellings announced that alternate three shows a 7% increase, and if the District were to leave a referral process in place, this would drop to 1%.
Lankford indicated that the District would need to go through the Request for Proposal (RFP) process for an insurance provider. He announced that the Board would need to meet in August for approval of the RFP.
Spellings indicated that the District would receive a package discount with Blue Cross Blue Shield if dental and vision benefits were included with the medical insurance. She announced that the District’s short-term disability would stay with Sun Life.
Entity Budget Overview Meetings
Lankford announced that the Entity budget overview packet was being finalized and that the meetings would begin in the coming weeks.
Assigned Obligated Funds
Lankford indicated that he had been hopeful that the final numbers would have been received from the District’s auditor; however, since these numbers are not ready yet, this item will move to a future meeting.
Executive Session began at 9:37 AM. The Board returned to open session at 10:07 AM.
The Board recessed at 10:07 AM and returned at 10:14 AM.
Consultation with Attorney on Current Litigation
Consideration and possible action on items discussed in Executive Session
Consultation with Attorney on Current Litigation
There was no action taken from Executive Session.
Consider approval of minutes of the Board of Directors for the regular meeting – June 8, 2023.
Weber made a motion to approve the June 8, 2023 minutes as presented. Gibbs seconded. The motion carried.
Consideration of Monthly Financials
The May 2023 financials and expenditures were reviewed and filed for audit.
Employee Insurance Request for Proposals
Hisle-Piper made a motion to approve for the District to request proposals for employee health insurance. Weber seconded. The motion carried.
Texas County & District Retirement System Plan Changes
Lankford reminded the members that they had discussed the potential of giving a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) for retirees. He indicated that this COLA had last been given in 2022; however, the cost of living had increased greatly in the past few years. In order to prefund for this adjustment, the cost would be $141,889 for a 1% increase and $283,779 for 2% increase. It was discussed that since the District did not have sufficient surplus funds to cover this expense, the Board may want to hold off on considering this item until next year. Lux agreed.
Weber made a motion to approve paying the Texas County & District Retirement System elected higher rate of 19%. Gibbs seconded. The motion carried.
Assigned Obligated Funds
Lankford announced that the assigned obligated funds would be added back to the Board’s agenda once the audit was complete.
No motion was made.
Board of Directors Policy Updates
Lankford indicated that the updates to the Board of Directors Policy were included in the Board packet. He announced that, Colleen McElroy, the District’s Administrative Office Manager, attends the Texas Association of Appraisal Districts (TAAD) Conference annually and notes law changes and best practices during the Board of Directors breakout sessions. The appropriate changes are then proposed for the Board’s Policy. Lankford announced that other updates, per member requests, which were noted throughout the year have also been made to the Policy. Lankford reviewed these changes.
Hisle-Piper moved to approve the Board Policy, which includes both the Budget Policy and the Investment Policy, with the changes as presented. Weber seconded. The motion carried.
Chief Appraiser’s Report
Protest Season Update
Lankford reminded the Board that the tax code each year requires the District to have 95% of the property value unprotested by July 20th so that the Appraisal Review Board (ARB) can approve the appraisal roll. He announced that each year this was the District’s biggest goal and that, by far, this was done the earliest he’d ever seen. Lankford congratulated District staff and the ARB on this huge accomplishment. He complimented Mary Bonnette, the ARB Chair, on the outstanding job she had done.
Lankford discussed some legislative changes; he mentioned one bill that would be a major change to the Board of Directors adding three publicly elected members. He announced that this item would be included on the May election ballot to run for office. Lankford discussed some of the details of this bill. These publicly elected officials will serve 4-year terms. Lankford announced that there had been no change for the terms of the current Board members. Discussion followed. Lankford indicated that additional information would be forthcoming.
Lankford announced another law that was being introduced regarding the homestead exemption and increasing it to $100,000 for all schools. Discussion followed.
Property Owner Surveys
Lankford was proud to announce that the property owner surveys continue to improve each year. He was impressed with how District staff members interact with the public.
Lawsuit, Arbitration and SOAH Reports
Lankford reviewed the lawsuit and arbitration reports. There were no State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) on which to report.
Board of Directors Election Reminder
Lankford expressed his appreciation and asked that all members who haven’t already have discussions with their nominating taxing units regarding the upcoming Board election. He reviewed the timeline for the election and reminded the Board that they would be getting three additional members in June.
Board Agenda Additions for Future Meetings
- Employee Health Insurance
There were no Board announcements.
The Board set the following meeting date:
- Wednesday, August 2, 2023 at 9 AM.
The Board had previously set the following meeting dates:
- Thursday, September 14, 2023 at 9 AM.
- Wednesday, October 11, 2023 at 9 AM.
- Thursday, November 16, 2023 at 9 AM.
The regular meeting adjourned at 10:51 AM.
Jon Lux, Chairman Lora H. Weber, Secretary