Tuesday, December 6, 2011

McAD board nominations throw Court for a loop

Waco – The five members of the Commissioners Court looked puzzled when they came to the agenda item.

A routine-sounding piece of business, the notation simply said they were being asked to approve an official ballot of the nominees for membership on the McLennan County Appraisal District Board of Directors.

It's an unrenumerated position – often called thankless – requiring members to hear appeals of appraisals of parcels of real property in dispute as to their taxable value.

The factor is key in these times of upside down mortgages and foreclosures because, what with tax rates capped out, the only way to raise increased revenue is to appraise real property at a higher rate, thus increasing the amount of tax to be collected.

Two new names were added to the nomination. They are Mayor Calvin Hodde of Lacy Lakeview and T.D. Watkins.

Members of the Court thought Calvin Hodde is the Calvin Hodde who is the Mayor of Lacy Lakeview. They weren't exactly sure, but they thought so.

No one knew who Mr. Watkins is, what governmental entity he serves, or any other particulars.

When the vote to approve came, Judge Jim Lewis and three members of the board voted for the resolution. Only Precinct 1 Commissioner Kelly Snell voted against.

He had made a proposal weeks ago to include invitations to proposed members of the board to come and either make a presentation to the Court, or answer questions from members in a get-acquainted session.

He didn't get the votes to get approval.

He also did not receive the votes necessary to approve 4 nominations of his own.

The result is that the members of the Court will cast their ballot for a total of 913 votes out of a total more than 4,000 allotted to all taxing entities in the county and they did not know that Mr. Watkins is a member of the Moody City Council, nor do they know who cast his name in nomination.

Telephone inquiries to the McLennan County Appraisal District and the offices of Tax Assessor-Collector Buddy Skeen failed to find anyone with a clue to the answer to the question. None of the persons contacted at either office identified themselves by name, nor did they offer to take a message.

Commissioner Kelly Snell's Administrative Assistant, Michelle Garcia, was able to identify Mr. Watkins as a member of the Moody City Council and a staff member at Moody City Hall confirmed the information.


  1. What a gas! Maybe the Admin. Assistant should be in office since she knows that Watkins is a Moody Council member .

    Time to send the "Fab Five" packing!

  2. Snell sounds lost.