Trustees call for tax election, hire interim superintendent
The Ector County ISD Board of Trustees held a special meeting on Monday night. A recap of the brief agenda is below. Carol Gregg was absent.
A. Trustees voted 6-0 to call for a Tax Ratification Election (TRE) for November 6, 2018, to ratify school district taxes pursuant to Section 26.08 Property Tax Code. Last week Trustees voted unanimously to approve a 2018-19 tax rate of $1.2759 per $100 property valuation. A school district’s tax rate is broken down into two parts: Maintenance & Operations (M&O) which provides the funding for day-to-day operations; and Interest & Sinking, also called Debt Service, which provides the funding for debt (bond) payments. The rate adopted by the school board breaks down as $1.17 for M&O + $.010957 for I&S = $1.27957 total tax rate. In order to raise the M&O tax rate above the $1.04 an election must be held, and must be approved by voters. The proposed 13-cent increase would mean $192.64/year (or $16.05/month) in additional property taxes for the average home in Ector County (an appraised value of $170,873.) It would also mean an $18 million dollar increase in local and state funding for our district.
Three citizens asked to speak to the school board, all in support of the TRE. Lisa Wyman took the opportunity to thank retiring superintendent Tom Crowe for his five years of service and the sacrifices he made to lead our district. She, David Duree, and Collin Sewell all expressed similar sentiments that our community needs a strong educational system to equip the next generation of leaders and the Tax Ratification Election will bring the resources necessary to retain our talented people and recruit new employees here.
B. Trustees spent approximately 45 minutes in closed session discussing a contract for an interim superintendent.
C. Trustees voted 6-0 to approve a contract with Jim Nelson to serve as interim superintendent. Mr. Nelson was raised in Odessa, he is a former ECISD school board member, former superintendent of schools in Richardson ISD, former Texas Education Commissioner, and former executive with AVID. The contract is for nine months, from September 1, 2018 through May 31, 2019, and will pay him $22,000/month.
The meeting adjourned at 7:00 p.m.