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Tarrant Appraisal District board elections remain mired in insider dealings, says one Weekly reader. Courtesy of Facebook

As the race to elect five Tarrant Appraisal District board members finishes up, it’s important for folks to remember that recent board dealings and the current race remain mired in ethical conflicts and insider dealings. Property taxes are on the rise, and some of the folks in charge of appraising your homes and properties have proven by their past actions that they are not trustworthy. 

One year ago, current TAD board members Kathryn Wilemon and Joe Ralph Martinez tried to convince the entire TAD board to award a contract to a law firm whose proposal was not provided to the board or the public. Wendy Burgess, Tarrant County’s tax assessor-collector, made the motion that would have amounted to illegally awarding a contract had the motion passed. Their hubris resulted in the item being tabled indefinitely.

Wilemon and Martinez’s action placed the entire county at legal risk, as did Burgess. The county commissioners and Fort Worth school district awarded both board members with 2021/2022 nominations with Wilemon as the commissioners’ nominee and Martinez as the official pick of Fort Worth school district leaders. Both the school district and county have a history with the same legal firm that Martinez, Wilemon, and Burgess tried to award the contract to nearly one year ago.

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TAD board member Tony Pompa, who has the support of Arlington school district, has missed 30% of TAD’s board meetings. He has left meetings due to scheduled business. He is routinely late to meetings, and he cuts off other board members to push the meeting forward even as he avoids in-person meetings by speaking remotely. 

Famous quotes by Mr. Pompa: “I do not have all day to devote to this meeting. I am not a fan of two, three, and four-hour meetings.”

Tarrant County elections are largely determined by good old boy dealings, and TAD board candidate Jungus Jordan is a longtime member of that club. The former Fort Worth city councilmember has never been a TAD board member or, to my knowledge, attended a TAD meeting. Several years ago, then-councilmember Jordan followed then-mayor Betsy Price’s directives by pushing to keep former TAD board chair Joe Potthoff on the board even after Mr. Potthoff and TAD executive director Jeff Law caused an estimated loss of $200 million to Tarrant’s public schools, municipalities, and other taxing entities around that time. 

Jordan did this favor by using his elected position to ensure that Fort Worth city council’s votes always went toward Mr. Potthoff until Mr. Potthoff’s defeat in 2019. 

The residents of Fort Worth’s District 6 recently voted to boot Mr. Jordan, and he is poised to return to a public position that is not elected by voters. How convenient. Mr. Jordan knew full well what he was doing when he directed Fort Worth’s vote towards political allies. That legacy and his record of accepting police union contributions are in keeping with TAD’s history of bad governance and willingness to be bought by special interests. 

And what did Fort Worth city council do when they recently had the opportunity to vote for honest and transparent leadership at TAD? They rewarded Mr. Jordan by giving him all of Fort Worth’s votes.

— Anonymous Reader

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