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LA JOYA – La Joya Independent School Board members voted to terminate two separate contracts for professional services during a special called meeting last week.

The contracts for delinquent tax attorneys and an insurance agent to service the district’s self insured health insurance program, stop loss and PBM, section 125 cafeteria plan and voluntary product were both terminated during a special meeting last Thursday.

The items were discussed during executive session as suggested by the district’s attorney.

Board members voted to terminate the current contract for collection of delinquent taxes and enter into an agreement with Purdue, Brandon. Board Vice President Espie Ochoa and Board Member J.J. Peña voted against the new agreement.

The previous delinquent tax attorneys, Linebarger, Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP, had been with the district since 2006. Their contract was renewed in September 2011 and was set to end on August 31 this year.

The board also terminated their agreement with Ruth Villarreal as an insurance agent to service the district’s self-insured health insurance program, stop loss and PBM, section 125 cafeteria plan and voluntary product.

The board hired Bob Treviño as the new agent.

Ochoa abstained from the vote while J.J. Peña voted against.

Villarreal did make comments in regards to her contract being on the agenda, during the public comments section of the board meeting.

“I am surprised to see an item on tonight’s agenda regarding my services at the school district,” said Villarreal, adding that she visits the school district at least once a week.

According to Villarreal, she had not been told there were any concerns or that the board was considering terminating the contract with her.

Villarreal said her contract was renewed in August for three years. Her new contract period had just started on Jan. 1.

She said during her six years with the district she has improved the customer service and benefit plans available to district employees.

According to Alfredo Andres Vela, assistant superintendent for administration and finance, he did not know of any complaints with the previous tax attorneys or insurance agent.

New providers were chosen based on previous experience, according to Vela.

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