The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Increased TCC budget causes debate among representatives

By Shelly Williams/editor in chief

One of the newest members of the TCC board of trustees questioned the process for approving the district’s $365 million budget during the Aug. 19 board meeting.

Board member O.K. Carter voted against the budget, saying that it wasn’t thoroughly discussed by board members and the public before action was taken.

“I do have to say I was fairly astonished to discover that the trustees received the budget the week before it’s expected to be approved,” he said.

Trustees voted 6-1 in favor of the proposed 2010-2011 budget plan and 5-2 for an employee salary increase.

Carter said more trustee workshops should have taken place along with possible public hearings regarding the budget to answer any unresolved questions. Carter also questioned the change of building funds to operational funds, saying the college needs to be aware of possible future hardships.

Chancellor Erma Johnson Hadley defended the process, saying this was the college responding to growth with a 26 percent increase in enrollment from 2006 to fall 2009. 

“Everything we do has the public interest at heart,” Hadley said in response to Carter. “We’re not doing this blindly.”

Board member Bill Greenhill said the board wasn’t trying to put Hadley on defense but was trying to find ways to become more proactive.

“What we’re saying is, we’re going to try to reorganize ourselves to better help you,“ Greenhill said.

“Absolutely, and that’s welcomed,” Hadley responded.

Carter and Greenhill won elections to the board in May and June. Carter represents Mansfield and South Arlington while Greenhill represents West Fort Worth (generally north of I-30), Azle, Haslet, Keller, Watauga, North Richland Hills and Haltom City.

The board then approved the pay raises separately from the budget with Carter and Robyn Winnett voting against it. Most employees will receive a 2 to 4 percent raise with the average employee getting a $1,734 increase. The total cost of pay increases for 2,302 budgeted positions is an estimated $3.6 million.

The board also voted to decrease the property tax rate for Tarrant County residents, making it 13.764 cents per $100 cash value, down from 13.767 cents. The tax rate adjustment was approved 6-1. Carter voted against.

However, students will not have to worry about a tuition increase. Rates will stay the same, Hadley said.

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