After five weeks in office, Pasco Property Appraiser Gary Joiner sought and received an 8 percent budget increase, mostly to fill three newly created positions with annual salaries of $275,000 in total.
The new jobs — a second chief deputy, a director of community services and a human resources head — were part of a $387,260 increase to the property appraiser's nearly $4.8 million budget for the current fiscal year.
The Pasco County Commission approved the request Feb. 7 without comment, and Joiner said the Florida Department of Revenue also had signed off on the additional spending. The Property Appraiser's Office is financed by ad valorem taxes, and commissioners can review the budget, but final authorization rests with the state.
In addition, Joiner received money for four laptop computers for the new employees and himself; a $17,987 Ford Escape to be used by staffers in the New Port Richey office "due to new personnel positions"; four new Ford F-150 trucks to replace aging vehicles, one of which is 18 years old; a transit van for the information technology staff to transport equipment; and computer upgrades. The pickup trucks, van and technology equipment are one-time expenditures and total about 41 percent of the budget amendment.
"I can wait and ask at end of the (fiscal) year, but I wanted to get moving. I didn't want to sit and wait. I wanted to get up and running," Joiner said in an interview.
Because the new positions would be filled for just eight months of the current fiscal year, the salaries, Social Security and retirement contributions and life and health insurance benefits total $229,215. Extrapolated for a full year, the three new jobs would account for more than $305,000 in annual salary and benefits starting Oct. 1.
Joiner also reorganized the office and included a list of job titles on which at least a half-dozen positions had been reclassified. For instance, the executive secretary is now "executive assistant," and four former supervisors are now titled "director." Joiner said the new job titles did not include salary increases at this time.
Almost 60 percent of the new spending is attributed to the new employees. They are:
• Troy Glaves, 49, a longtime Realtor who, as the second chief deputy, will be paid an annual salary of $140,858. "Due to top company reorganization and increased workload, chief deputy administrative duties will be shared. This will support county need for chief deputy positions to have a presence in our west side New Port Richey office as well as east side Dade City office," states the job justification submitted to the county.
Wade Barber, the current chief deputy in Dade City, is in the state's early retirement DROP program. Joiner said Barber's position will not be replaced after he retires in about four years.
• Sandy Goldberg, 49, director of community services, will be paid $85,010 annually. "Deputy property appraiser of operations will no longer be responsible solely for community services. This would include, but not be limited to community engagements, social media responsibilities, performing digital marketing or email campaigns or overseeing implementation of market strategy with website interface functionality," the job justification states.
Goldberg formerly worked with Joiner at the Gulf Harbors branch of the Pasco Tax Collector's Office. Joiner was director of operations for Tax Collector Mike Fasano before winning the property appraiser's seat in November. Goldberg managed the Gulf Harbors office.
• Norman Daerda Jr., 36, will oversee human resources at an annual salary of $50,004. "The human resource area is experiencing greater demands. The finance department is inundated and is unable to keep up with current human resources needs. Separate finance and human resource responsibilities is needed," said the job justification.
Joiner plans for the office to employ 59 people, three of whom are part time, according to his organizational chart. There are six vacancies.