In Texas, the appraisal district board members are elected by the various taxing entities within the district’s jurisdiction. They have a proportional number of votes to cast based on their share of property taxes.
According to the Texas Tax Code, only an entity that cast votes for the board member may then initiate his or her recall. Keller cast votes for Wilemon in 2021.
Wilemon appeared before the council during the public comment period and offered to answer questions the city council might have about her service. She also brought a letter listing TAD’s accomplishments.
When she asked if anyone on the council had questions for her, council member Tag Green asked about releasing a report to the public that contained more details about an investigation of TAD.
Wilemon deferred to attorney-client privilege and the forthcoming Texas attorney general’s opinion about whether the report must be released.
Keller Mayor Pro Tempore Ross McMullin, who is also an attorney, pointed out that attorney-client privilege can be waived by the client, in this case, the TAD board.
The investigation involved a complaint made by the head of residential appraisal, Randy Armstrong, to a state licensing agency. The complaint accused realtor Chandler Crouch of wrongdoing.
Crouch freely represents hundreds of taxpayers who wish to protest their tax appraisal values before TAD.
The state found no evidence of violations by Crouch.
Another TAD board member, Tony Pompa, also spoke to the city council in support of Wilemon and her service. He said that the board released a summary of the investigative report, which included findings about what happened and the consequences imposed on chief appraiser Jeff Law and his deputy.
In supporting the recall resolution, Green expressed dismay over the treatment of the public at a June 2022 TAD board meeting when hundreds showed up to speak. Apparently, the agenda was reordered so that the executive session was held first while people were forced to wait outside in the heat and sun.
Mayor Armin Mizani supported the recall resolution saying, “In Keller, we are unapologetic in our representation of the taxpayers.”
In considering the recall, he posed the question, “Is TAD more transparent and accountable now than it was two years ago?” His answer was no.
Crouch was gratified by the action taken at Tuesday’s meeting.
“The residents of Keller should be very grateful that they have leaders who are genuinely concerned about protecting the rights of the people they govern,” Crouch told The Texan. “It takes leadership and courage to do what they are doing.”
Crouch believes Wilemon has mishandled serious issues about the investigation into the now-debunked Armstrong complaint.
According to the tax code, the chief appraiser must now deliver a written notice of the recall resolution to the seven other taxing entities who cast votes for Wilemon, including the Tarrant County Commissioners Court.
Over the next 30 days, the other taxing entities may vote to recall the TAD board member. For the recall to succeed, the number of votes cast in favor must exceed a majority of those originally cast for the appointment of the member.
Editor’s Note: The article has been updated to correct the method by which proportional votes are determined. Wilemon tendered her resignation as a member of the Tarrant Appraisal District Board of Directors on Wednesday following Keller City Council’s vote.
Disclosure: Unlike almost every other media outlet, The Texan is not beholden to any special interests, does not apply for any type of state or federal funding, and relies exclusively on its readers for financial support. If you’d like to become one of the people we’re financially accountable to, click here to subscribe.
Kim Roberts is a regional reporter for the Texan in the DFW metroplex area where she has lived for over twenty years. She has a Juris Doctor from Baylor University Law School and a Bachelor's in government from Angelo State University. In her free time, Kim home schools her daughter and coaches high school extemporaneous speaking and apologetics. She has been happily married to her husband for 23 years, has three wonderful children, and two dogs.