Jourdanton trustees sworn in, officers remain the same

The Jourdanton Independent School Board December meeting opened with the presentation of the annual audit. Phillip Netardus said that they received an unqualified opinion, which is the best that can be earned. The net reserve shown at the time of the audit was $14.7 million, an increase of $700,000 in the fund balance from last year. Expenses also came up less than budgeted, which shows good control by the administration.

The next presentation was from Ronald Rocha of Linebarger, Goggan, Blair & Sampson LLP, with a tax collection update. As of January 10, there were 1,254 delinquent accounts, totaling almost $2 million. By July 1, that amount had decreased to 725 accounts and $1.5 million and by September, 560 accounts with $700,000 due. Payment arrangements are made with taxpayers needing assistance. Skip/ traces are done to find the new locations for bad addresses. There are 100 accounts that are over 40 years delinquent; some deeds are messed up, some taxpayers cannot be found. When all attempts at collection have failed, the properties are put up for sale. This year, there were 46 for sale: 14 were paid in full before the date, two were sold for $13,000. Over $100,000 went into bankruptcy status.

Every year, the number of continuing education hours earned by the trustees must be read into the minutes. This year, the breakdown was as follows: Tricia Taylor, 15 hours; Barbara Peeler, 15 hours; Mary Ramirez, 21.5 hours; Lannie Wheeler, 18 hours; Vance Jupe, 18 hours and Amador Lugo, Jr., 12 hours. All have met the requirements.

Taylor was given the oath of office. Board organization was kept the same, Peeler as president, Taylor as vice-president and Ramirez as secretary.

The consent agenda consisted of the approval of the minutes of the previous meeting, approval of bills and the Business Office report. The grand total of all accounts was $6,916,902.71. Collection of taxes for the month was $425,531.41, representing 11%. Total of all bills was $565,630. Taylor moved to approve/Wheeler seconded and it passed unanimously.

Conflict of interest bills were approved with Peeler abstaining. The January meeting will be held on January 12, with Texas Academic Performance Report being included, along with a public hearing on the TAPR and the superintendent’s evaluation.

Board members also unanimously approved continuing with Walsh Anderson’s retention program, which costs $1,000 per year, but has worked well for the administration in the past.

After a little discussion, it was also agreed to give the one time sign on/ retention stipend for all staff members of $1,000 plus benefits.

Campus reports included dates of the band concerts and luncheons, Christmas plays and early release dates. Athletic Boosters derationed $9,600 to purchase what is needed for the spring sports. “Doc” Williams resigned his position as part-time trainer. That position will not be filled until next year. Meeting adjourned at 8:29 p.m.

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