Falls CAD amends Firearm Policy

2021 budget approved by Board of Directors

During a meeting on June 18, the Falls County Appraisal District Board of Directors approved adding a firearms section to their Code of Conduct policies. 

Newly added Section 6.04 states that the possession of firearms or explosive devices is strictly prohibited within the Falls CAD office by any employee. 

“This prohibition shall extend to all members of the general public as well,” the policy reads.

Any employee who violates this policy, regardless of licenses or permits in place, may be subject to termination. 

The entity reserves the right to conduct searches and inspections of all items entering the building including certain person items. Desks, files, briefcases, purses, and food containers are all subject to reviewing under this policy. 

Items will be seized if found and dealt with on a case by case basis.

Additions were made to the Board of Directors policies concerning firearms as well. 

The addition to section seven states that neither concealed or openly carried firearms or explosives cannot enter the room where a BOD meeting is taking place, in accordance with Sections 30.06 and 30.07 of the Penal Code.

The District did not previously have a policy in place regarding firearms.

Citizens Comments

Eugene Radle voiced his discontempt for a number of subjects concerning the appraisal district. He said that he felt that the $6,000 rural utility tax should be implemented across the board, that the budget should include a breakdown of each employee and their salary and that the Appraisal Review Board should have more members from the West side of Falls County. He also stated his belief that ARB members should not be allowed on the board before completing the required training.

Wally Burns stated that he had seen some hostility from board members, despite not speaking to members outside of board meetings. Burns also spoke on a letter he had sent to Larry Boone questions policy, which was not answered prior to Boone resigning from the BOD. He emphasized that he understood the pressure put on Falls CAD from the state, but wants to make sure steps are followed appropriately. 

His wife, Rusty Burns, gave her opinion on the firearms policy, saying that she thought it was a good idea for guns to be kept out of Falls CAD. 

Preliminary Budget for 2021

The BOD approved the proposed budget for the 2021 year unanimously. 

The yearly budget differs from the 2020 budget by -$17,523.90, coming out to $797,256.10 for the year.

The personnel budget is proposed with a $34,643.90 decrease, the contract services budget sees a $18,100 increase, a $5,100 increase in operating expenses, a $2,400 increase in the professional services budget, and a $8,480 decrease in the capital outlay budget.

Each section of the budget is broken down into sections and details the changes made to each of those sections. 

The Chief Appraiser is budgeted for $148,419.93, including salary, incentive, mileage(PR), social security, medicare, unemployment, retirement, life insurance, health insurance, and Cafeteria/HRA plans, with a base salary of $105,000. The Chief Deputy, a position that is currently not filled, is budgeted for $76,878.13 and has a base salary of $55,000. Appraiser I is set for $454,954.03, Appraiser II is at $56,107.93, and Appraiser III is budgeted for $60,723.53. Each of the appraisers has a base salary of $36,000, $37,000 and $41,000, respectively. Both Customer Service Representatives have a $52,069.28 budget, seeing a base salary of $33,500. The Bookkeeper, a part-time position, is budgeted for $30,910.82 and will receive a salary of $26,000. There is also an open position budgeted for $10,773.20 and receiving a $8,000 salary

Share Contributions are set to come from Falls County, Bremond ISD, Bruceville-Eddy ISD, Chilton ISD, Groesbeck ISD, Lorena ISD, Lorena ISD, Marlin ISD, Mart ISD, Riesel ISD, Robinson ISD, Rosebud-Lott ISD, Troy ISD, Westphalia ISD, the City of Bruceville-Eddy, the City of Lott, the City of Marlin, the City of Rosebud, the City of Golinda, Elm Creek Watershed, and the three Falls County Emergency Services districts. 

Each of these entities has an individual amount to pay, split up in quarterly payments. The first payments are expected to be received by December 31. 

May Financial Reports

As of May 31, a third of the way through the year, the Appraisal District has used 39.65 percent of their total budget for 2020. About 32 percent of the personnel budget has been used, along with 34 percent of the operating budget, 56 percent of the contract services budget, 1 percent of the capital outlay budget, and 101 percent of the professional services budget. 

Encumbered and bank account funds total $504,570 and $799,106.81, respectively. The board approved the reports as presented.

ARB Members

It was stated during the May meeting that one of the appointed officials on the Appraisal Review Board stepped down from their position, leaving a vacant seat. It’s possible to continue without an additional member, but as said during the May meeting, the Board of Directors chose to seek additional applications. Jo Alexander and Almanard Degrate were appointed to the ARB during the June 18 meeting, approved unanimously.

Other items

Falls CAD phone systems are up and working again, but the district is pursuing options for a faster internet service. Minutes from the May 21 meeting, the audit report, and chief appraisers report were all accepted as presented. Board members convened into an executive session to discuss building renovations and personnel, but did not take any actions on the subject. 

The Rosebud News

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