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

Board president to resign after 1 year in office

By Shelly Williams/editor-in-chief

Board member Joe Hudson announced his plans to step down as president to the TCC district and other trustees at last week’s board meeting.

He said the reason was so he could stay true to himself. Originally, Hudson said he tried to change the board’s policy from allowing a president to serve three years to serving only one.

But the suggestion was never approved because some members didn’t agree.

“In a kind of compromise, I said, ‘OK, what I will do is I will live up to my beliefs, and I will serve a year. And then I will step aside, and I will allow someone else to come in and serve the remaining portion of the years,’” he said. “My philosophy is we need new blood, we need new ideas, and we need new people.”

During his time as president, he said he learned more about how the school operates. If he could give any advice to whoever takes the position after he leaves, he said it would be to listen — to the college, the board members and the community.

He hopes his resignation will help force other board members to become more involved.

“I’ve concluded that the job of board chairman is to run interference for other board members and make sure that every board member has equal opportunity to have all the information they need in order for the board to act as a single unit,” he said.

Since Hudson is stepping down in the middle of his term, the board has to make certain maneuvers to put someone else in his place.

Hudson will give his resignation to the board. Then the board will make a motion to accept it or vote on it. Once that occurs, TCC’s lawyer Angela Robinson said his vacancy opens the door for elections for the position.

“Until that occurs, though, the vice president will serve and carry out the functions of the president,” she said.

However, the board does have the option of not holding elections if there is a board member qualified and willing to step into position. But this would have to be voted on as well, Robinson said.

Hudson said he wants to resign by June.

In another matter, TCC is considering an indoor gun range on NW Campus after the Eagle Mountain/Saginaw school district shared concerns with Chancellor Erma Johnson Hadley regarding the current firing range

used for TCC’s police academy program. Eagle Mountain is building a new high school across from the range.

“They were concerned about the safety of our firing range and whether or not stray bullets may get out at some point and injure or kill someone on their campus,” Hadley said.

Licensed by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education, Texas administrative codes require that a police academy program have access to a firing range for live training. The academy uses live ammunition, NW president Elva LeBlanc said.

Because of this, TCC put together a group of analysts like NW faculty who manage the gun range, the district’s risk management team and the divisional dean to look at TCC’s facility. TCC also asked Fort Worth economic development manager Robert Sturns and hired C. Vargas and Associates to evaluate the current range.

Hadley said the team recommended TCC take action immediately.

“The firing range was found to be a safe facility,” Clark Vargas said in the team’s evaluation report. “It has been operated in an exemplary fashion.”

Sturns said he was happy to read that but wasn’t happy with just settling for a safe facility. Sturns said Vargas then presented him with three improvement options — immediate, short-term and long-term.

Within the next three months, Hadley said TCC hopes to have the immediate option complete. Costing the district an estimated $171,000, the immediate option will include baffle (safety coverage) enhancements to its ceiling. The short-term would have cost an estimated $1.2 million. The long-term enhancement to construct a new indoor facility is estimated at $4.2 million.

TCC’s chief financial officer Mark McClendon said if a bullet did escape the range and went onto Eagle Mountain property, the college would have full liability for any incident that occurred.

The new range would cut down on concerns of loud gunfire and become a Simunition-type range, meaning a realistic training facility that involves shooting, Vargas said.

Lastly, the board approved two TIFs, or tax increment financing districts, that were originally discussed in February. The TIF asked TCC to participate in Fort Worth’s Housing and Economic Development Department East Berry Renaissance and Woodhaven TIF development projects 12 and 13.

TIF districts are properties developed with taxes that are yet to be paid into profitable developments. Contributors are then paid back by the higher taxes on the developed property.

TIF 12 is expected to cost $19 million with a revenue of $12.5 million while TIF 13 is expected to cost $13.5 million with a revenue of just less than $17 million.

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