A Canyon Lake man who was the deputy chief appraiser for the central appraisal district in Fredericksburg before he became an appeal consultant handling property value challenges for an Austin law firm has been selected as the new chief appraiser for Bandera County’s Central Appraisal District.
The district’s board of directors voted unanimously at its Friday, March 20, special meeting to offer the chief appraiser’s post to Shawn David Davis, a man with degrees from two universities who has more than 20 years of professional experience including nine as a manager and was praised by two references for his ethics and professionalism.
“Based on Shawn’s level of integrity, ethics and professional standards, I highly recommend him for any senior or chief executive position, without reservation,” said Rockwall Central Appraisal District’s Chief Appraiser Kevin Passons, one of Davis’ references.
Bo Mansfield, president of the Bandera County appraisal district’s board, said after the vote that negotiations were ongoing concerning the details of Davis’ contract, including his salary, but Mansfield felt confident that an agreement would be finalized that would get the new appraiser here by Wednesday, April 1.
Mansfield, like other board members, had high praise for the nominee.
“He’s got a lot of experience at all levels of the appraisal district operations,” said Mansfield. “He’s confident. He understands the public relations situation we’re in right now. He’s looking forward to the challenges…I’m excited to have him get started.”
Once the two sides agree on a contract, Davis will replace a woman whose tenure as chief appraiser produced intense scrutiny and angry criticism over her job performance and her treatment of both district employees and the public.
Wendy M. Grams resigned from the chief appraiser’s post on Feb. 14 after facing loud criticism at a special board meeting, one of several that had generated fireworks over the last year. The board accepted her resignation and retained her as the chief appraiser until March 15.
It hired auditing consultant Richard Petree as the district’s interim director on March 6.
Petree too was listed as a reference for Davis.
The Bandera board considered several applicants for the job before interviewing four of the top candidates and then nar rowing the finalist list to two at its March 6 meeting.
Several board members had words of praise for Davis after the vote.
Director George Sharman said he thought the entire board agreed he was the best fit for the job of the four interviewed. Davis key strength, Sharman said, appeared to be his ability to bring people together.
“I think that’s what we need around here,” said Sharman.
Director Ernest DeWinne said Davis has the professional certifications and background the district needs and hoped the new chief could help “turn our operations around.”
Davis resume said he had begun working this year as an appeal consultant for Perdue, Brandon, Fielder, Collins & Mott in Austin after two years as deputy chief appraiser in the Gillespie County Central Appraisal District and additional experience with three other appraisal districts.
One of the Bandera district’s most outspoken critics, Darcy Hasty, said she did not know enough about Davis’ background to comment on his selection but added that she hoped he would be the kind of leader the community could support.
She still complained to the board at last week’s meeting that it had violated the Open Meetings Act by posting two different notices about the special meeting containing different times and locations for the meeting.
Hasty said the dual postings confused the public and kept some people from attending Friday’s meeting. She said she would file a complaint about the meeting with the state Attorney General’s office.