CAD removes Rooney as chief appraiser

by dentonramsey

CAD removes Rooney as chief appraiser

By Denton Ramsey/Staff Writer

 

The Board of Directors of the Brewster County Central Appraisal District unanimously voted to remove Betty Jo Rooney as the chief appraiser Tuesday afternoon.

The board’s decision was made after problems surfaced with Rooney handling both the position of tax collector and chief appraiser.

“At the time we put Betty Jo in both positions, it was economical to combine the duties,” Judge Val Beard said. “Perhaps it is no longer possible to do both. Our concern is that without separate offices, we compromise checks and balances. What fit at that time I have serious doubts if it still fits today.”

The board met in executive session for about one hour during which time the directors discussed the idea of separating the two jobs. After a motion was made for separation, it was approved unanimously.

One of the main problems surrounding the dismissal of Rooney as chief appraiser is the issue of getting appropriate tax numbers and formulas together in a reasonable time frame, which was not accomplished, said Beard.

“We’re up against a hard deadline and things are going to have to happen,” Beard said. “The objectives have not been met.”

The board’s attorney, Greg Hudson of Austin, posed the question, “Are we slowing down the freight train to wait on one car?”

After Judge Beard told Rooney that they must have a certified number as soon as possible, she voiced her concerns about Rooney and her job as the chief appraiser.

“I am triply concerned at this point,” Beard said. “This board was not fully apprised of the situation involving the Alpine Independent School District’s protest, and that is not a way for a director to treat the board.”

After action was taken to split the two offices, the board addressed Rooney about how to proceed from that point and asked Rooney for her resignation.

“I won’t resign,” Rooney said. “Action will have to be taken.”

A motion was then made and seconded to terminate the appointment of Rooney as the chief appraiser, asking for a “clean divorce” along with four weeks of severance pay.

It was approved unanimously, and after a second executive session, the directors voted to replace Rooney on an interim basis with Matt White. A performance review will take place in 90 days.

 

Comments? Email denton.ramsey@gmail.com

 

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