Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Why I Endorse Senator Gwen Margolis for Miami-Dade County Property Appraiser

State Senator Gwen Margolis has announced that she will run for Miami-Dade County Property Appraiser in 2008. Election day is November 4.

Historically, Miami-Dade County is the only one of Florida's 67 counties to have an appointed, rather than elected, Property Appraiser. Indeed, under the Dade County Charter, both Property Appraiser and Tax Collector are technically department heads appointed by the County Manager. This is something of an anomaly, considering that both positions are constitutional officers in every county--including Miami-Dade-- by Florida law.

All that history changed on January 29, 2008, when the electorate of Miami-Dade County voted to make the position of Property Appraiser an elected one.

Our candidate of choice for Miami-Dade County's first elected Property Appraiser is Senator Gwen Margolis. Having known Senator Margolis both professionally and personally for virtually the entire 28 years I have practiced property tax law, I like to think that in recommending Senator Margolis for this office, I know whereof I speak.

Well, then, without further folderol or jibber jabber, here are but a handful of reasons to vote for Senator Margolis for Property Appraiser of Miami-Dade County when you cast your ballot in November.

. Senator Margolis who has been a real estate broker for 35 years.

. Senator Margolis was the first female President of the Florida Senate.

. Senator Margolis serves on the Constitutional Revision Commission, responsible for advancing many of the innovations recently adopted as Floroda law.

. Senator Margolis is a long-time member of the Senate Committee on Finance and Taxation, sponsoring numerous bills to reform the tax system in Florida, including but not limited to property tax measures.

. Senator Margolis has held elected office in Florida virtually continuously since 1975, as reflected in the New Theater-produced one-act play chronicling Margolis's role as a female trendsetter and role model in Florida politics.

. Senator Margolis served as the Chair of the County Value Adjustment Board during her tenure as Miami-Dade County Commissioner.

Senator Margolis has had a long and distinguished career in Florida politics, starting with her election to the Florida House of Representatives in 1974, where she was subsequently re-elected to three additional terms. Her career in the Florida Senate started in 1980, where she was appointed as Chair of the Finance, Tax, and Claims Committee, and later the Appropriations Committee. In 1990 she became the first women in the United States to serve as President of any Senate, when she was sworn in as President of the Florida State Senate.

In 1994, Senator Margolis was elected to the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners, where she served six of her eight years as Chairperson. She returned to the Senate in 2002. Wea are fortunate tht Senator Margolis is returning to the South Florida political scene to run for the newly-created position of elected County Property Appraiser.

The proposal to have an elected Property Appraiser for the first time in Miami-Dade County originated in the County's Charter Review Task Force.

Weiss has been named a “Top Lawyer” in the category of Real Estate, Zoning and Land Use by the South Florida Legal Guide (2007, 2008), Florida Super Lawyers (2006), Florida Trend Legal Elite (2004) and Who’s Who in Practicing Attorneys (1989-1990) and has been included on Miami’s “A list” in five categories: law, philanthropy, business, arts and social prominence, in New York’s Avenue Magazine (2006, 2007, 2008).