Board of Directors Meeting Minutes – November 17, 2022

Williamson Central Appraisal District

Board of Directors Meeting

Minutes of November 17, 2022

Jon Lux, Chairman, called the regular meeting of the Williamson Central Appraisal District Board of Directors to order Thursday, November 17, 2022, at 9:03 AM. Board members present; Jon Lux, Harry Gibbs, Lora Weber, Hope Hisle-Piper, Mason Moses, and Larry Gaddes. Quorum declared.

Some of the District’s management staff were in attendance.

Pledges of Allegiance 

Receipt of Public Comments

There were no public comments.

Compensation Study Update

Lankford introduced Ruth Ann Eledge, with The Segal Company (Segal), who attended the meeting in person and James Brittain, also with Segal, who presented virtually. Eledge announced the goal of the project to work to get a market comparable review to help retain District staff. She announced the purpose was to discuss internal alignments, the market value and build pay structures on which the District could administer more competitive employee pay. She also indicated that Segal had worked to understand jobs, positions, and the market value. Eledge reviewed the work plan and the measures taken to complete the study. She indicated that Segal had worked with the District’s leadership team and had reviewed the data to perform the analysis to place employees within the new salary ranges. 

Eledge informed the Board that surveys had been conducted and the cost of labor was reviewed. Brittain reviewed the survey findings. He also reviewed the salary structures. Brittain indicated that 73 jobs were studied and that 36 employees were below the minimum salary. Brittain announced that the cost to adopt the recommendations for salary adjustments would be around $671,600.

Lankford announced that, for the year 2023, the District had budgeted $695,000 in anticipation of conducting this salary study. Moses mentioned having a compensation philosophy. It was also indicated that this study came about when reviewing the compensation for the Chief Appraiser. The District wants to stay within the competitive range moving forward. Moses reminded the Board that philosophies are living documents and therefore are subject to change. He also mentioned that defining what competitive is helps guide budgeting moving forward. The Board mentioned conducting a compensation study periodically and drafting a compensation policy for staff.

Weber made a motion to accept the Segal compensation study for the year 2023 for the District. Moses seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

Street Level Imagery Request for Proposals

Lankford asked that the Board authorize the District to request proposals for street level imagery.

Moses made a motion to approve the Appraisal District requesting proposals for street level imagery. Gibbs seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

Taxpayer Liaison Officer’s Report

Report on Property Owner Contacts

Charley Rouse, the District’s Taxpayer Liaison Officer (TLO), 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 commented regarding the appointment of the Appraisal Review Board (ARB) by the Administrative Law Judge. He indicated that this year the applications had been sent earlier than previous years and that it was his hope that the appointments would be made much sooner than they were last year.

Retirement of Taxpayer Liaison Officer

It was announced that Rouse would be retiring from his TLO duties after 15 years of service. Rouse expressed his appreciation for all the assistance provided over the years from District staff and announced that he still felt the property owner surveys were extremely helpful. Rouse also commented that the District had hired good personnel which truly makes a difference.

Lux expressed his appreciation to Rouse for his service to the District and for his patience in handling issues. Lankford also thanked Rouse for his service. He commented on his prior experience lending itself to the successes serving as the Taxpayer Liaison Officer and that Rouse’s calm, friendly demeanor, and the way he handled property owner issues, were a great asset to the District.

Lankford presented Rouse with a display box containing a Texas flag which had been flown over the District’s office.

Appointment of Taxpayer Liaison Officer Representative

Executive Session began at 10:09 AM and ended at 10:15 AM.

Consideration and possible action on items discussed in Executive Session

Appointment of Taxpayer Liaison Officer Representative

Glenda Williams addressed the members indicating that she had worked for the District previously, as well as worked directly with Rouse in his position as TLO. She also announced that, during her employment with the District, she had worked in several departments and worked through years of legislative changes. Williams announced that her husband, in 2023, would be serving his second year of his second term on the Appraisal Review Board. Lankford informed the Board that he had consulted with the District’s attorney concerning this item and it was indicated that Williams would recuse herself if there were an issue that involved her husband. Gaddes expressed his excitement for the taxpayers of Williamson County to have Williams’ expertise and knowledge. Lankford expressed his excitement for the District as well. The Taxpayer Liaison Officer pay was discussed. It was indicated that the current rate for this position was $950 per month with an additional $150 per month auto allowance.

Gibbs moved to appoint Glenda Williams as the District’s Taxpayer Liaison Officer effective December 21, 2022 at the same pay scale as the District’s current TLO. Weber seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

Chief Appraiser Evaluation & Compensation

Executive Session began at 10:23 AM and ended at 12:15 PM.

Consideration and possible action on items discussed in Executive Session

Chief Appraiser Evaluation & Compensation

Moses expressed his appreciation to Lankford for his work.

Moses made a motion to approve a 5% base pay increase for the Chief Appraiser with a 5% performance pay and the establishment of a deferred compensation plan to distribute $6,000 per year for five years with a 20% vesting each year. The 5% pay for performance will be a one-time payment. Weber seconded. The motion carried.

Gibbs left the meeting at 10:50 AM.

Consider approval of minutes of the Board of Directors for the regular meetings – October 13, 2022.

Weber made a motion to approve the October 13, 2022 minutes as presented. Moses seconded. The motion carried.

Moses left the meeting at 12:18 PM.

Consideration of Monthly Financials & Quarterly Investment Report

The September 2022 financials and expenditures were reviewed and filed for audit. The quarterly investment report was also filed.

Chief Appraiser’s Report

WCAD Presentations

Lankford announced that he had attended the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) Fall Leadership Days and that he was a member of the Professional Development Committee for IAAO. He also mentioned that he had attended a Texas Association of Appraisal District’s (TAAD) Capitol Chapter Meeting to conduct a Chief Appraiser forum.

Lankford mentioned the TAAD Allied Organization Meetings where several of the technologies used at the District were shared with TAAD chapters across the state of Texas.

WCAD Initiatives

Chris Connelly, the Deputy Chief Appraiser, mentioned one of the District’s goals regarding customer service data and working to update the District’s website. In previous years, the idea of removing tax information from the property owner appraisal notice had been discussed. It was mentioned that this year, the District was considering posting this information on their website. This would mainly be to show the market value increases do not correlate with tax bill increases. Connelly displayed the District’s website and expressed the wishes to increase education for property owners.

Connelly displayed possible updates to the District’s banner on the website. He pointed out how the District is attempting to assist property owners and provide them useful information. He indicated that the District feels sharing knowledge with property owners is important.

Just Appraised Return on Investment

Lankford discussed a property deed program that streamlines the District’s workflow using artificial intelligence. Just Appraised gathers deed data from the County Clerk’s website, scrapes the data and then verifies deeds; a portion of these deeds get placed directly into the District’s appraisal system. It was announced that over the past year, the District saved 2,235 hours of data entry work and approximately $50,000 in salaries.

Lankford announced that, during the last legislative session, a bill was passed allowing Appraisal Districts only 90 days to process an exemption. This program has made achieving this task possible, even though the number of deeds over the past two years has increased over 22%.

International Association of Assessing Officers Election Update

Lankford announced that he had been elected to serve on the IAAO Board of Directors. He expressed what a great organization IAAO was and that they try to assist assessing offices throughout the nation.

2023 Texas Association of Appraisal Districts Conference

Lankford asked the Board members to mark their calendars for the upcoming TAAD Conference. This Conference is scheduled to take place in Dallas on February 19th through February 22nd. He indicated that this would be the conference where his presidency would end. Lankford reminded the Board of the breakout sessions geared toward Board of Director members. He also announced that Gibbs would be presenting in one of the sessions regarding hiring, evaluating, retaining, and paying a Chief Appraiser. Lankford asked that members notify the District if they would like to attend.

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. He announced that the District had over 500 active lawsuits currently, and that this was mainly due to the drastic increase in values. He indicated that he would anticipate the litigation line item in the budget increasing.

Quarterly Lunches with Board Members

Lankford announced with his busy schedule this quarter that he had not gotten the opportunity to schedule his lunches with Board members. He indicated that he would try to start these again in January. He announced that his TAAD duties would run through February and that his calendar regarding IAAO should not be as full.

WCAD Christmas Party Reminder

Lankford reminded the Board of the District’s annual Christmas Party, which was scheduled to take place on Saturday, December 10th at Kalahari Resort in Round Rock.

Board Agenda Additions for Future Meeting

It was mentioned that the Chief Appraiser item regarding deferred compensation would need to be finalized.

Board Announcements

There were no Board announcements.

The Board set their next meeting dates as follows:

  • Thursday, January 12, 2023 at 9 AM.
  • Thursday, February 9, 2023 at 9 AM.

The regular meeting adjourned at 12:57 PM.



Jon Lux, Chairman                                   Lora H. Weber, Secretary