|Lily Tercero Caricature by Nena Barton|
After the "Call to Order," acting chairperson Trey Mendez opened discussion on windstorm insurance, a key issue for TSC considering its geographic location. What riled several board members was President Tercero has renewed the windstorm policy without sending the item out for bids or even consulting the board.
Tercero's action, inappropriate at best, illegal at worst, put a majority of the board in the mood of rescinding the contract with the insurer which currently runs from April 7, 2016 to April 6, 2017.
|Carlos Pecero, TSC Business Services,|
Finance & Administration
"When it was discovered" the policy was about to lapse, there were only two weeks left in the policy, according to Pecero. Of course, it the duty of President Tercero and her administrators to keep tract of the expiration date of insurance contracts just as every family in Brownsville must do.
Pecero hinted that rescinding the contract might lead to recovering a very small amount of the premium, "possibly only $40,000." Two buildings, currently on the policy as qualifying for a "superior construction discount," no longer qualify for that discount and would have to be insured at a higher rate.
Tercero agreed with Pecero, saying her actions were intended "simply to protect the college."
Recently elected Trustee Ruben Herrera wanted an attorney's opinion as to if the contract was even legal. TSC attorney Frank Perez danced around that issue, not describing the contract as illegal, but possibly "void or voidable." He said he would have to look at the video of past meetings to give a definitive answer.
When Ruben Herrera directly asked Tercero who authorized her to enter into contract without consulting the board, she simply replied "staff."
BTW, the annual premium for basic windstorm protection is $829,789, but, adding the excess windstorm protection for damage beyond a certain threshold, adds another $214,000, taking the premium to over $1 million annually. A suggestion was made to allow the current contract to remain in place until December 2, 2016, just after hurricane season. Trustee Trey Mendez suggested aiming for an August termination, not liking the thought of a company benefiting from an illegal, unlawful or voidable contract.