For 16 years, Alvin Mazourek has brought professionalism and real estate expertise to the Hernando Property Appraiser's office. That needn't change. John Emerson, Mazourek's chief deputy since 2007, is seeking to fill his boss' shoes and voters should allow him to do so.
"Alvin and I think alike,'' said Emerson, 63, who joined the property appraiser's office in 1988 after a 12 years of doing real estate appraisal work in the private sector.
By thinking alike, the office has improved its efficiency though technology and reduced its staff to 40 people, down 21 percent over the past four years. Likewise, the budget has declined by nearly $700,000 over the same period.
During Emerson's tenure, the office developed the county's central Geographic Information System (GIS) program and provides support on mapping needs to all county and city of Brooksville departments and the Hernando School Board. The office also created a GIS education center and trained 118 county employees on mapping to improve the efficiency of all county government agencies.
Emerson is opposed by Jamie Williams, 41, a roofing contractor, with no real estate nor appraising experience. (Williams also has been unable to campaign after injurying himself in June when he fell off a roof while cleaning gutters.) In contrast, Emerson is a Florida certified general appraiser, a certified Florida evaluator and has served as chief appraiser, director of the real property and chief deputy during a 35-year career in the appraisal and real estate field.
Because there is no other candidate, the Republican primary is open to all registered voters and becomes a winner-take-all contest. The public can't afford on-the-job training of a neophyte during this extended period of declining real estate values and stressed government budgets. Williams is not a realistic candidate.
The Times strongly recommends voters elect John Emerson as Hernando property appraiser.