After a month of legal conflict, Tarrant Appraisal board decides how to fill open seat
Nearly a month after the Tarrant Appraisal District board chair was recalled, the TAD board rescinded its decision to accept the chair’s resignation.
The recall of board chair Kathryn Wilemon will move forward.
The Keller City Council initiated the recall process with a vote on Feb. 21. The next day, Wilemon resigned, leaving leaders questioning how to fill the seat.
“Contrary to what some of the media posted and what some of the people have said, we didn’t really ever want to take away the taxing entities’ authority to do what they have the authority to do,” said board member Tony Pompa during the board’s Friday meeting at which the vote was taken.
When a member of the TAD board resigns, all taxing entities receive a notice of vacancy. Each is invited to nominate a replacement to fill the vacancy. The TAD board selects the replacement.
When a member of the board is recalled, a notice of recall is sent to each of the taxing entities that voted for the person who was recalled. Replacements then submit applications to the taxing entities that selected the member who was recalled. Those entities vote for the replacement.
Wilemon was elected to the board in 2019, and her term would have expired at the end of this year.
After executive session at the board’s March 3 meeting, Chief Appraiser Jeff Law said: “The recall does not supersede the vacancy, and the vacancy does not supersede the recall.”
However, in a letter sent the same day to taxing entities, he wrote: “Since the recall process was only initiated, it is now canceled as a result of the vacancy.”
Tarrant County commissioners voted March 7 to recall Wilemon, and then on March 10 Tarrant County District Attorney Phil Sorrells wrote Law and threatened legal action if the board stopped the recall process.
In a letter to the DA’s office dated March 14, Law wrote:. “Although I cannot speak for the board and I do not know how the Board will proceed, at the last meeting, there were Directors which publicly commented that they believed the County should have the right to select the replacement member.”
Just before the March 10 deadline to submit new legislation, Republican Rep. Charlie Geren of Fort Worth proposed a bill that would abolish the Tarrant Appraisal District.