Tuesday, Aug. 14 is primary election day in Florida. In the lead up to the election, the Town-Crier is offering our opinions on some of the candidates voters will find on the ballot. This week, we make endorsements in the races for Palm Beach County Property Appraiser, Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections and the various judicial races on the ballot.
PALM BEACH COUNTY PROPERTY APPRAISER — Unlike the elections office, the Property Appraiser’s Office has been under the same leadership for a long time, with incumbent Property Appraiser Gary Nikolits having served in his position for 20 years. In this nonpartisan election, he is challenged by Boca Raton attorney and businessman Robert Weinroth. Nikolits has done a stellar job over the past two decades, despite a whirlwind of real estate boom and bust in recent years. It’s a very technical job, and Nikolits does it well. Being property appraiser is a thankless position that people often mistake for being the person in charge of taxation. Weinroth believes that Nikolits should do a better job on outreach and customer service. Can improvements be made? Perhaps, but all in all, we find the office relatively easy to deal with, and a month rarely goes by when we don’t get contacted by Nikolits’ office with information for our readers. Weinroth also charges that Nikolits spends too much in comparison to other large counties, such as Broward. But Nikolits points out that he has to pay for things that property appraisers in other counties get for free. Weinroth would certainly take a more business-oriented perspective, and could very well make a fine property appraiser. He has definitely done his homework. However, Weinroth believes his lack of appraising experience can be made up for by hiring the right people. The bottom line is that Nikolits has a lot of experience in this office — and had a lot of appraisal experience before he arrived on the job. We just don’t see enough of a reason to make a change. The Town-Crier endorses the re-election of Gary Nikolits as Palm Beach County Property Appraiser.