Update. They had a meeting on 9/20/2016 for the budget, and I was happy to see a lot of questions and participation. The tax hearings are coming up before the budget has been voted on; the board voted to not to pass the budget the other night. On the one hand, that's good, on the other, sheesh, they couldn't have started this much earlier???
Have already posted that I believe the Somervell County Hospital District board is severely irresponsible in voting for a proposed tax rate BEFORE EVEN LOOKING AT A FINISHED, LEGAL BUDGET. First, months ago, the board voted NOT to have committee meetings, including budget committee meetings, thus abdicating their responsibility as overseers and allow others to mind the store. At least they all are pretty good now at nodding their heads and raising their hands. All of a sudden this has become a chinese fire drill to get this tax business done quick. Why? Becuase THEN they can use Somervell CAD to send out the tax notices, saving themselves a whole bunch of money from having to bulk mail Somervell citizens themselves. In order to be able to get the public hearings done, they HAD to vote on a proposed tax rate the other day just to get in the dang paper. Even then, the board didn't put it in the LOCAL paper, the Glen Rose Reporter, but put it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Yeah, that paper might be *general circulation* but had they actually done their duty a month or two earlier, the people that live HERE in this community would have the benefit of reading it in our own newspaper. What was SUPPOSED to happen, according to the Texas Comptroller site in a section called Truth in Taxation, is that a budget would be prepared and FROM that budget, a tax rate would ensue. Makes sense, right? But since the budget isn't finished and there won't even be a budget workshop until next week on Tuesday, the board voted on the proposed tax rate the other day, BASED ON going all the way up to the cap, which is .175. You get that? It's not based on what anyone on the board thinks any department actually needs or considering cuts, or other factors, but what's the most they can get and "Let's Go for That". Shame on them all.
(Incidentally, you don't see Dr Vacek in this picture since he wasn't there. But I don't think he should even be on the board since it seems to me he is breaking the law since he's an employee of the district -go look at the budget-oh, wait....)
My point, however, isn't merely to point the Finger of Shame at the responsiblity-abdicating board, but to compare with what the county and city have done. In other words, was the board SO BUSY that they couldn't also a couple of months ago started to have budget hearings? Well, sure, but I guess they were too busy doing something else, there was thumb twiddiling to get done, for that.
When did the Somervell County Commissioners Court FIRST start having budget workshops, KNOWING that there were issues with Luminant and the appraised value? May 10, 2016. They had workshops on May 10, May 11, May 12, Jun 1, Jun 27, Jul 11, Jul 20, Jul 27, Aug 18, Sep 12.
How about the City of Glen Rose? I can't tell from the City of Glen Rose website, but I know for a fact that they have been holding budget workshops for at least the last couple of months. I have myself attending a few of them and recorded them In August alone, there was a budget workshop on August 16 and August 22. I attended one where I needed to leave at 8:30 and I heard it went on till 10:30 at night. And those workshops weren't just looking at what the city administrator and other departments provided but going through them line by line.
If I look at GRISD, I see that they had their first budget workshop on June 27, 2016 and another in July.
Somervell County Water District had a budget meeting in May 2016
AFTER all of these people had had budget meetings to consider what the situation was, THEN they set a proposed tax rate FROM the budget.
So, er, WHAT THE FOOL IS WRONG WITH THE SOMERVELL COUNTY HOSPITAL DISTRICT????