One week after accepting a resignation from the chief appraiser of the Somervell Central Appraisal District, the board of directors has acquired the services of a consultant to lead the office until the vacancy is filled again.

On Monday, directors met with Jimmy Foreman, former chief appraiser of the Montgomery Central Appraisal District, and unanimously agreed to hire him on a contractual basis following the departure of Duane Cox.

Foreman, who most recently served as veterans’ services officer for the Cherokee County Office of Veterans’ Affairs, retired in 2001 after a 30-plus-year career in tax assessment and collections. In 2001, the retiree formed Foreman Consulting Services, based in Alto, Texas, and offers his services to various taxing entities across the state.

The board welcomed Foreman and discussed the Somervell CAD’s current situation, asking the consultant if he would be available on a part-time basis until a new chief appraiser was hired.

“If you’re wanting an interim (chief appraiser), I can do that,” Foreman told the board, informing them that he had served in similar capacities for appraisal districts in Montgomery, Harris, Cherokee and Henderson counties.

Foreman said it was his experience that it normally takes 3-4 months to conduct a search and interview candidates to fill a chief appraiser position.

Board members, seeking a timeline and attempting to determine how many hours per week Foreman would be needed, asked if he could be available three or four days per week until the position is filled.

“When I come to consult I look at financials, the administration, and both the appraisal and collections side of things,” said Foreman. “What I’ve tried to do since day one … is I realize as chief appraiser the need is to have someone look at their operations because I have dealt with a lot of appraisal districts.”

Foreman said he has experienced, in some CADs, that the staff is put under certain limitations or has a chief appraiser who “needed some training.”

“You try to give them some guidance in certain areas,” said Foreman. “If it’s something that I need to pass on to the board, I’ll tell you what I found and give you some recommendations.”

Board member Darlene Chambers asked Foreman if it would be difficult to come in to the Somervell CAD without a chief appraiser in place, to which the consultant replied, “Would I need the help of the staff? Yes. They’re important and it’s quicker to be able to use their resources to find out where we’re at.”

The board convened in executive session for less than a half-hour to discuss contractual terms with Foreman and reconvened in an open meeting to vote 5-0 to acquire the consultant, effective immediately.

Board chairman Ben Mieth said Foreman would be paid $60 per hour, plus mileage and hotel expenses while in Glen Rose.

The Somervell CAD directors also charged Foreman and Carla Pope-Osborne, appeals director with the law firm of Perdue Brandon Fielder Collins & Mott, LLP, of Austin, to devise the wording for a job posting to seek out a new chief appraiser.

The directive also allows Mieth to review and give final approval of the job posting before it is published in a local newspaper and online with the Texas Association of Appraisal Districts and Texas Association of Appraisal Officers’ Web sites.

Foreman, who began his consulting duties following Monday’s meeting, is a Registered Professional Appraiser, Registered Texas Assessor/Collector, Certified Tax Administrator and Certified School Tax Assessor.