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, July 8, 2021, at 9:00 a.m. Board members present; Charles Chadwell, Harry Gibbs, Donald Hisle, and Lora Weber. Jon Lux and Larry Gaddes were absent. Quorum declared.
Pledges of Allegiance
Chadwell announced that items on the agenda would be rearranged as needed to accommodate attendees.
Receipt of Public Comments
There were no public comments. Chadwell recognized Danielle Weston who was in attendance.
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. He reported that things were running smooth and thanked District staff for their assistance. He expressed his appreciation to Rae Wilhite, the District’s Records Manager and Colleen McElroy, the Administrative Assistant, for their prompt assistance with property owner issues.
Consultation with Attorney on Current Litigation
Executive Session began at 9:05 a.m. and ended at 9:55 a.m.
Protest Season Update
Lankford announced that he and other staff members attend conferences and gather information on processes from other appraisal districts. He indicated that in Kansas, appraisal districts value with the sales comparison approach. They also include additional information in their appraisal notice which, in turn, reduces their protest levels.
Lankford indicated that this began a quest for he and Chris Connelly, the District’s Deputy Chief Appraiser, to work towards something similar. He recognized Connelly for heading up the MRA (multiple regression analysis) team, who had been working on this project for several years in order to enable adjustments in the grid to reflect the real estate market. Charles Vasquez, a member of the District’s data analysis team, was key in making this happen. Lankford announced that the District had hired Dan Fasteen who has a PhD in statistics; Fasteen helped District staff apply this methodology. K.C. McDade, the District’s Director of Operations, mentioned that Lankford had pushed for a compressed time schedule to complete this project. Aaron Moore, the District’s Director of Appraisal, reviewed the District’s previous and current processes for valuing property and mentioned that the market adjusted sales grid is now sent to most property owners.
Moore explained how the District helps to ensure its data is accurate. Johnny Robins, the District’s Assistant Director of Appraisal, mentioned what a monumental task this had been and indicated that it had taken nine years to accomplish this goal. Robins mentioned the tools used to improve the District’s data and indicated that more was able to be accomplished with less by the continued use of technology.
It was discussed that, during a record value increase year, as owners have time to digest the information they have received, the District is seeing less traffic through its office; thereby, allowing a timelier certification of the appraisal roll to the taxing units. Robins discussed how the District is very open with its data and how this benefits the taxing units. It was indicated that as of July 7th at 4:00 p.m., the District was showing to have 96% of its appraisal roll not under protest, where a 19% value increase was seen on residential properties, which was ahead of any of the District’s prior years. And, instead of having a large amount of value at risk, the taxing units will have almost none.
Vasquez thanked Lankford for the recognition and mentioned he had been working with appraisal districts for 17 years. He expressed his appreciation for the leadership that had been provided by Lankford, Connelly, and the management team.
2022 Budget Workshop
Employee Insurance Presentation
Debra Spellings and Letty DeLaGarza, with Benefits 360, who manage the District’s benefit program, were present to discuss employee insurance. Spellings mentioned that UHC (United Health Care) is the District’s current benefit provider. UHC had initially asked for a thirteen percent increase; however, they were able to bring this number down. She indicated that proposals from other carriers had also been received. Spellings voiced her recommendation that the District renew with United Health Care for its health, dental and vision insurance coverage. She announced that there had been a rate pass for everything with the exception of medical insurance. Spellings indicated that the District had also received a rate pass for short- and long-term disability, and optional life insurance.
Lankford expressed his appreciation to Spellings and DeLaGarza and announced that without them, the District would be paying much more. It was mentioned that the District’s health insurance had been provided by UHC for 14 years.
The Entity Budget Overview Meetings, 2022 Budget Review, consideration of the June 2021 Board Minutes and the May 2021 Monthly Financials and Expenditures were skipped in the essence of time due to the anticipated loss of a quorum. These items will be considered at a future meeting.
Chadwell made a motion to accept the insurance proposal as presented with a five percent increase for the District’s medical insurance through United Health Care and a rate pass for dental and vision. The short-term disability will be supplied through Sun Life and Lincoln Financial will provide the District’s long-term disability. Hisle seconded. The motion carried 4-0.
Board Packet Posting on Website
Lankford reminded the Board that they had voted at their last meeting to post the Board information packet on the District’s website but wanted him to review the packet to see if there were items that might cause controversy. Lankford felt it best to redact the coding for District staff on the property owner surveys. The survey comments will be included.
Lankford announced that the time-frame certain items are presented to the Board may change, but that the packet would be posted online beginning at the Board’s next meeting.
The Website Minutes Search Function agenda item will be considered at a future meeting.
Air Handler Replacement
The updated version of the air unit replacement proposals was distributed to the Board members. Lankford announced that the pricing provided was competitive and that the vendors were included on the state bidders list. Michael Page, the District’s Information Technology Manager, recommended hiring Fox Commercial Services. It was indicated that the funds for this unit would be taken from the District’s reserve accounts.
Hisle made a motion to approve hiring Fox Commercial Services to replace the outside air handling unit for a cost of $80,620. Weber seconded. The motion carried 4-0.
The Chief Appraiser Evaluation & Compensation Process agenda item will be considered at a future meeting.
Chief Appraiser’s Report
Breakdown of Kalahari Appraisal
Lankford reviewed the total costs, appraisal values and reductions for the Kalahari property. Discussion followed. Chadwell had asked Lankford to justify to the public how the District had come up with the appraisal number.
Consideration and possible action on items discussed in Executive Session
Consultation with Attorney on Current Litigation
No action was taken as a result of executive session conducted earlier in the meeting.
The WCAD Accolades, Property Owner Surveys and Board Election Reminder agenda items will be considered at a future meeting.
Board Agenda Additions for Future Meeting
• Lankford mentioned that he would like feedback from the Board members on his performance as well as the performance of the District as a whole. He requested that this feedback be provided during the upcoming quarterly lunch meetings with members. A copy of the email communications with Chadwell were provided to the Board. Lankford felt the Board would benefit from the explanations provided in these emails. He indicated that these would be shared with Lux and Gaddes who were not able to be in attendance at the meeting. Chadwell mentioned that each month he and Lankford review the details of the Board agenda prior to the meeting. He announced that he had requested Lankford provide additional transparency.
This month’s Board Announcements will be moved along to the Board’s next meeting.
The following Board Meeting dates were discussed:
Thursday, August 12, 2021, at 9:00 a.m.
Thursday, September 9, 2021, at 9:00 a.m.
Hisle left the meeting at 10:48 a.m. due to the lack of a quorum. The meeting adjourned at 10:49 a.m.
Charles Chadwell, Chairman Donald L. Hisle, Secretary