Three new members joined the Tarrant Appraisal District board during the first meeting of 2024.

Following the newcomers joining the board, a new chairman and secretary were decided during the Jan. 12 meeting in Fort Worth.

Incumbents Rich DeOtte and Vince Puente Sr. both won re-election, while new board members Alan Blaylock, Gary Lasoda and Gloria Peña joined the dais as well.

The backstory

The trio of newcomers replaced Jungus Jordan, JR Martinez and Tony Pompa, who was the former chairman. Losada returned to the board after losing an election to Jordan—a former Fort Worth council member—in 2021.

Instead of a vote of county residents, taxing entities, such as the Tarrant County Commissioners and local school districts, provide the votes to elect this board. Grapevine-Colleyville ISD nominated Lasoda, Puente and DeOtte during its Oct. 2 meeting. Carroll ISD trustees voted for the same three during its Oct. 2 meeting. The Keller City Council also had the same three nominees approved during its Oct. 3 meeting.

The details

Midway through the meeting, a vote occurred for a new chairman and secretary—a role DeOtte said he did not have interest in maintaining.

He nominated Puente for the chairman role and Losada as secretary, though the latter said he did not want that position either.

Blaylock, the District 10 Fort Worth council member, also declined when nominated to be secretary by Puente.

Peña, a former Arlington ISD board of trustee member, was voted as the secretary. She said she previously held that duty with the school district.

Puente, who was voted into office May 9, 2022, was chosen to become the chairman by a 4-0-1 vote, with Lasoda abstaining.

What they’re saying

“I will do my best; I will use my common sense, which hopefully serves me best in my role as a business owner,” Puente said. “I will listen to all parties, but for me, it comes down to common sense. We are here to serve the public. We have to work together. We won’t always agree but ultimately we are after the same thing: excellence service to our public, getting our reports done accurately and being recognized as the finest Central Appraisal District in the state of Texas. I am not a super member, but I will try to represent the public, the entities and the administration here as best as I can.”