Friday, October 03, 2008

Miami Dade Property Appraiser Race: Who gives a shit? By Geniusofdespair

I don’t really care about this race but I took a quick look at it in case any of you do. There are 4 candidates vying for this post and here are their financial reports:

Jim Shedd has collected $26,325. His report is not very interesting except he got 10 donations from “Brown” interests in the amount of $5,000. Brown is suing to move the Urban Development Line after the State of Florida rejected their application to move the line. Shedd made a donation from his campaign account to the Lincoln Diaz Barart campaign which might be illegal or unethical at the very least. He is paying Dark Horse Strategies (Emiliano Antunez Mgr.) to manage his campaign. I was notified today (October 4th) that Mr Shedd did NOT make a contribution to L D-B out of his campaign account he paid for an event he attended with a personal check and there was some mis-communication between he and his treasurer.

I will not vote for Jim Shedd. (We have a second article/endorsement of the Property Appraiser, hit here to review it.)

Pedro Garcia has collected $14,475. No red flags on his report.

Eddie Lewis has collected $10,450. He gave his campaign about $7,000 of that. The rest of the donations are mostly from individuals.

Gwen Margolis has collected $334,087.90 ($200,000 was her own money). Her long history as State Senator, County Commissioner and as the first County Commission Chair enabled her to tap into some big bucks. Her long time lobbyist pal Rick Sisser is managing her campaign.

Among her donors: Armando Codina Corporation’s ($1,000), Miami Dolphins ($2,000), Turnberry out of Davie ($3,500), Charter Schools USA ($500), Racing Interests ($2,000), Braman, various entities ($4,500), Ron Book of course ($2,000), Edward Easton (Parkland) ($500), Krome Mining Partners, et. al. ($1,500). She is a longtime friend to developers. I wonder why Brown isn't on this report?

Each candidate paid a County Commission Qualifying Fee of $6,530. That seems an excessive fee to run for office.

The Margolis camp told me why this race is important and why she is the candidate of choice:

"Since this will be the first elected Property Appraiser, Miami-Dade County needs someone who is experienced, honest and has proven integrity. We need a candidate who understands property values, how taxes are levied and the local and state mechanics of taxation.

As the first woman President of any State Senate in the Country, as Chairperson of the County Commission, as a realtor, and as a member of the Value Adjustment Board; Gwen Margolis is the only candidate that meets the criteria for the first elected Property Appraiser.

Gwen has many ideas to improve the current system at the Property Appraiser's Office. I believe one of Gwen's most important ideas for the office is to create an outreach program so we can understand exactly how the Property Appraiser comes up with the appraised value of our property.

We all know the importance of a people friendly website. Another one of Gwen's promises is to revamp the current website. If we compare Dade's with Broward's website you can understand just how unfriendly Dade's is."



Anonymous said...

The fee is likely 6% of the office's salary. I believe that's the standard.

Anonymous said...

When you read numbers like these, you know damn well that politicizing the property appraisers office is just to provide another opportunity for lobbyists to put pressure on the system. I would like just one of Margolis' big campaign contributors to post on this blog comment section, the reason that they feel it is worth while investing in a political office to do this work? And maybe they can also explain what it is, exactly, they hope to accomplish through their influence.

Not Holding My Breath

Genius of Despair said...

There is a silver lining if Margolis wins.
Natacha and Gwen are mortal enemies since the body bag incident.

Seijas wanted this to be an elected position to take power from the mayor. I don't think she ever imagined it would put Margolis back in her life and that Margolis would be independent of Natacha's power (being elected). The fireworks/drama to come could be worth it all.

Genius of Despair said...

Thanks reader for the info on the fee...

miaexile said...

I would not vote for either Shedd or Margolis.
So, time to find out about Mr Lewis and Mr Garcia.

Genius of Despair said...

if they have no chance of winning it would be a wasted vote. I think you will find the race is centered on Shedd and Margolis.

yuk, said...

I think one candidate is a sitting property appraiser hearing officer he is older most probably a one termer, but he knows the issues, he has heard them all.... He also has been married 50 years to the same lady... I am not sure who he is though.

The PA offices already do public meetings for community outreach.

Anonymous said...

Yuk: that candidate you speak of is Pedro Garcia

There is a scheduled forum with all 4 candidates

In order to assist the electorate in determining who should hold this office, the Property Appraiser Candidates Forum will be held:

6:30 p.m., Thursday, October 16, 2008
Big Five Club
600 S.W. 92nd Avenue
Miami, Florida
Cost: NONE

Anonymous said...

OUTREACH PROGRAMS from the Property Appraiser, are you serious?!?!

Why do these idiots always turn to creating programs when they don't know what the hell they are going to do to begin with...

Anonymous said...

WHY JIM SHEDD SHOULD BE OUR FIRST PROPERTY APPRAISER._As we all know property values in Miami-Dade County are dropping
precipitously, yet somehow property assessments do not seem to be
falling at the same rate of speed. On November 4th for the first time
in the history of Miami-Dade County the voters will choose their
Property Appraiser, no longer will the Property Appraiser be at the
whims of the politicians and administration.

Jim Shedd is proposing 10 basic changes to the department that will
help bring assessments down to reality more efficiently and end
certain abusive practices that saddle property owners with exorbitant
assessments. Jim Shedd has 33 years of service to his country and communnity, including
serving in the Army during Vietnam , 21 years as a Supervisory Agent in the DEA and 9
years in state law enforcement.

One of the things Jim Shedd will accomplish as Property Appraiser is
to set up a task force to identify pocket areas where mortgage fraud
was rampant and artificially raised prices. By being able to separate
legitimate sales from fraudulent transactions the Property Appraiser's
Office will be able to more accurately asses homes in these areas.

Highest and best use has been described by Mr. Shedd as "robbery
with pen." Jim has expressed his desire to do everything in his
power to end the practice of assessing properties for their highest
and best use. This is unfair no only to the property owner but to the
tenants who must share the burden by paying higher rents. According to
Jim this policy has caused "social and economic upheaval in our

On November 4th you will have a choice, you may choose between the
policies of the past that have treated property owners like and
endless well, or you can choose a new direction with Jim Shedd who
shares the perspective of Miami-Dade County property owners and

For more information on Jim Shedd and his 10 point plan to help
assessments reflect the reality of the situation, please visit

Anonymous said...

It seems obvious who's trying to steal this one.... The same lady who's already chairing the Value Adjustment Board. Give me a break. I like the little I've heard from Shedd and the other two seem a little out of it. The one thing I haven't heard from anyone is how they're going to DRASTICALLY LOWER ASSESSED VALUES FOR EVERYONE!!! Florida is in the dumps (especially So. FL) and it's significantly due to taxes. Government is going to hurt just like the rest of us, otherwise, there's no sustaining it.

Genius of Despair said...

i don't agree.

Anonymous said...

Dear Genius of Despair,

As an overseas absentee voter from Miami-Dade with a puzzling array of choices, I thank you for this insightful article on the upcoming property appraiser election. Viva Democracy!

The Palmetto Patriot

Anonymous said...

Doing my pre-election homework this morning, and came across your blog entry on the appraiser choice. Everyone here seems to have failed to recognize what my quick research showe: Pedro Garcia is the only candidate who is actually an appraiser. And he's been doing it for 30 years. Garcia is plainly, unquestionably the best choice for this job. If he doesn't win, it will be because people voted on grounds other than merit.

Anonymous said...

Margolis thinks the Property Appraiser's office needs an outreach program??

How hard is it to telephone PA if you have questions? I did it once and they answered all my questions very clearly. I found out that your 2008 assessed value is based on 2007 market values (NOT CURRENT PRICES, PEOPLE). That's why the assessed values seem high right now. When prices are fast on the rise, as they were in 2003, 2004, 2005, your assessed values seem low for the same reason - they're 1 year behind. An Outreach program is not necessary.

Also, the web site is being improved with or without Margolis (Guess which department I work for? The one that wrote My Home and will write the improvement)

I'm voting for Pedro J. Garcia.