Monday, February 26, 2024

LISD trustees disapprove of DCAD budget, citing ‘erosion of trust’

This week, the Lewisville ISD Board of Trustees joined the Denton County Commissioners Court and other local town councils in disapproving of the Denton Central Appraisal District budget, saying Chief Appraiser Hope McClure’s actions “have caused a significant erosion of trust in the ability of DCAD to function effectively.”

The LISD board penned a letter to the DCAD Board of Directors, reminding DCAD that LISD is “by far, the largest taxing entity you serve,” and detailing LISD’s lack of confidence in the appraisal agency, which recently approved a new budget with a $3 million increase.

The LISD letter says that it did not receive certified values from DCAD by the July 25 deadline, and when the district’s CFO, Paige Meloni, sent a letter to McClure to express LISD’s concerns about the potentially negative financial impact as a result, but McClure responded by blaming LISD and other tasing entities for DCAD’s failings, according to the LISD letter.

Earlier this summer, McClure publicly tried to address DCAD’s “bad publicity” that centered around criticism from local officials and a leak of the Western Valuations Report on a toxic work culture at DCAD. The LISD letter said that DCAD’s response to that report, which McClure said was almost entirely false, “is further evidence of a chief appraiser who is unwilling to reflect on her own performance or the performance of he organization under her leadership.”

“Rather than make a commitment to improve culture within DCAD, Ms. McClure instead attacks the auditor and attempts to discredit his conclusions. Rather than outline solutions for internal issues identified, DCAD’s response document reads as a resumé and letter of recommendation for Ms. McClure herself,” the LISD letter says. “It is difficult to reconcile Ms. McClure’s constant claims that DCAD is underfunded and understaffed with the expenditure of significant DCAD personnel time towards drafting this self-serving personal advertisement.”

LISD’s letter goes on to say that McClure “wants money without accountability,” and the primary issue is not the budget increase “but the lack of trust that these additional funds will correct the issues within DCAD.”

If a majority of taxing entities within DCAD’s jurisdiction pass similar resolutions to disapprove of the budget, DCAD will have to pass a new budget.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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