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Section A: General News


Appraisal district undergoing transition




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Wilson County News
September 30, 2008 | 6,847 views | 12 comments

Still in the process of a massive internal transition, a new era for the Wilson County Appraisal District begins with changes to its top-level leadership.

Eddie Bridge of Pettus officially took the reins as chief appraiser Sept. 22. Bridge had previously served in the same capacity for Atascosa, Edwards, and Falls counties. He replaces Carlton Pape, who was terminated July 21.

Also beginning work Sept. 22 was Assistant Chief Appraiser Brian Stahl. He replaces the former assistant, Shauneen Barker.

Stahl, who last worked with the Comal Appraisal District, worked for the Wilson County Appraisal District from 2005-07, he said.

Perhaps the most significant personnel change is the elimination of the data processing manager’s position, which has been held by Raye Ann Jendrusch. Under the proposed fiscal year 2009 budget introduced Sept. 23, she will be considered as the appraisal district’s operations manager.

Jendrush, who also served as interim chief appraiser during the transition from Pape to Bridge, will experience an approximately 48.6-percent increase in pay. As data processing manager, Jendrusch earned $28,943 during the 2008 fiscal year. As operations manager, she will be paid $43,000 during the 2009 fiscal year.

Bridge, Stahl, and Jendrusch were present for their first board of directors meeting Sept. 23, where President Scott Boening presided as board members Ewald Koepp Jr., Frank Pruski, and Tom Ray unanimously accepted the 2007 audit.

The appraisal district’s accountant, Verna Gorzell, said the finances are in satisfactory condition. But she suggested an increase in oversight in, and timelier posting of, payroll expenditures. She also suggested the appraisal district could complete and approve its annual audit more quickly if it started gathering information in November, instead of waiting until the beginning of the next calendar year.

During the meeting, directors also had their first opportunity to review the proposed $1,094,845 fiscal year 2009 budget, which will now be sent to the county’s taxing entities for their approval.

The budget calls for a 2.9-percent overall increase in expenses, which translates to $30,539 over 2008’s expenditures of $1,064,306.

Operating expenses would increase 47.6 percent, from $118,500 to $174,900. Two major contributors of this increase are mileage expenses, projected to increase from $23,000 to $38,000, and computer mapping, projected to increase from $3,000 to $26,500.

The cost of employee benefits is set to increase approximately 9 percent overall. Health insurance, which alone is projected to increase 18 percent, from $78,000 to $92,040, accounts for most of the increase.

The district’s five staff appraisers will all be making $30,000 per year under the proposed budget, which for some means a pay increase of as much as 18.4 percent.

One expense that will disappear for the appraisal district in its new budget is the $45,000 annual payment on the note for the building and land for its offices on Railroad Street.

But an increase in personnel has caused the appraisal district to outgrow its office space. Because Appraisal Review Board hearings were taking place in the conference room simultaneous to the Sept. 23 meeting, the directors had to meet in the much-smaller break room.

Because $120,837 in appraisal district funds went unused in fiscal year 2007, Pruski suggested asking the taxing entities if they could keep this money to fund building renovations and expansion.

“We could make the argument that we decided to update the current building and not use additional taxpayer money to rebuild,” Ray said.

Pruski said, “We were studying spending up to $800,000 to relocate.”
A public hearing on the proposed budget will be held Oct. 14 at 1 p.m. in the appraisal district’s offices at 1611 Railroad Street in Floresville.
 

Your Opinions and Comments

 
fed-up  
October 20, 2008 4:31pm
 
Floresville community beware of the the new and improved employees of our tax office i cannot believe the pay that has been given to these individuals and the raises are unbelieveable we are not living in california where pay ... More ›

 
SK  
October 10, 2008 1:03pm
 
I did some quick math using IRS data for 2006 and came up with the following: Texas total AGI from all sources was $562.8B. Total property tax levy for Texas in 2006 was $35.6B. You would need to tax AGI about 6% to bring ... More ›

 
SK  
October 9, 2008 4:46pm
 
Mr Marshall, Thank you for your response to my comments and the challenges faced by appraisers during these growth spurts. So I'll give you that one on them getting behind. However, I think the part you missed was an indictment ... More ›

 
michael marshall  
October 9, 2008 9:37am
 
SK, Where in the world do you get the idea that I don't mind a 50% rate increase? Yes, as a matter of fact, I do. But, whether you believe it or not, counties around the state are getting behind on their appraisals simply ... More ›

 
SK  
October 8, 2008 12:43pm
 
Mr Marshall, I guess you don't mind when the appraisal district slaps you with a 50% increase because "we got behind in our appraisals" over several years and are "trying to catch up." "You should ... More ›

 
Micheal Marshall  
Floresville  
October 7, 2008 6:05pm
 
Do any of you have ANY idea what these people do? I mean, REALLY and truthfully? As an appraiser myself for almost 35 years in North Texas, I'm really surprised to have seen people just snipe, snipe, snipe about this. YOU ... More ›

 
what?????  
LV  
October 7, 2008 2:48pm
 
I think the deputy can do his job good and right, it is just the chief im not sure about or that Raye Anne Jendrusch is still there. That doesn't make sense to me!!!!

 
Concerned  
Floresville  
October 7, 2008 2:43pm
 
In the business sector an individual normally gets a 3% increase each year, sometimes less. For additional duties/responsibilities (supervisor) in our office the individual get 5% increase in pay. Yes, it does come with a new ... More ›

 
Concerned  
Floresville  
October 2, 2008 11:29am
 
Huge raise for what qualifications? And what is the deputy chief making? In previous articles it stated that the new chief will be making $70,000 a year. Is the board of directors CRAZY?? Look how many places Mr. Bridge has ... More ›

 
Shocked  
Floresville  
September 30, 2008 9:01pm
 
I really can't believe what i am reading here. As if what has already happened wasn't bad enough, to slap the people of this area in the face with the news that they are giving her a HUGE raise is just an insult. There are some ... More ›

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