WEINROTH, non-partisan for PALM BEACH COUNTY PROPERTY APPRAISER
PALM BEACH COUNTY PROPERTY APPRAISER (Florida Constitutional Off in FL WEINROTH2012.com
951 BROKEN SOUND PKWY NW STE 160
BOCA RATON, FL
Public Phone Number: (56-1) -212-
Public Email: [email protected]
Primary Election Date: 2012-08-14 General Election Date: 2012-08-14
Who am I?
Robert Weinroth, 59, is a 20 year resident of Boca Raton where he is an attorney, businessman and Palm Beach County property owner. Born in Queens, New York, Weinroth later went to Bostons Northeastern University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in Management with a BSBA in Management in June 1975. He remained in Boston and went on to earn a Juris Doctor at New England School of Law in 1978.
Weinroth, who is admitted to practice law in Florida, Massachusetts and New Jersey, currently serves as president and general counsel of Freedom Medical Services INC (FREEDOMED), an accredited medical supply company in Boca Raton. FREEDOMED represents the realization of an entrepreneurial dream of Weinroth and his wife, Pamela. Together, they grew FREEDOMED from the ground up until it grew to service over 6,000 patients, nationwide. Weinroth and his wife also owned and operated Freedom Pharmacy LLC (FREEDOMED Pharmacy), delivering on a long tradition of courteous and reliable patient services.
Weinroth has a broad background in business management, having worked at American International Group, as president of a claims subsidiary. When he and his family relocated to Palm Beach County, Weinroth was engaged as a senior analyst for Southern Business Management Associates INC, headquartered in Jacksonville. Weinroth was responsible for analyzing the corporate operations of small to medium sized, closely held companies throughout Florida and focusing on obstacles to success. At the end of each analysis, Weinroth prepared a comprehensive report presenting his findings and a reengineering plan for restoring operational efficiencies and profitability.
Strong believers in being active in the community, Weinroth and his wife Pamela currently serve on the FL Regional Board of the Anti-Defamation League. He has also been elected president of two homeowners associations (Boca Falls HOA and Briarcliff at Woodfield Country Club HOA) and has served as a Board member of the Bay Winds HOA. He was also appointed to serve on the Safety & Security Committee at Woodfield Country Club HOA, its finance committee and the by-laws, long range planning and finance committees at Woodfield Country Club.
Weinroth take great pride in his work as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem for the 15th Judicial Circuit, advocating for the needs of abused and neglected children deemed dependent by the Court. Weinroth has served on the boards of two synagogues, most recently Bnai Torah Congregation in Boca Raton. He previously served as Financial Secretary, Treasurer, Vice President and Chair of the Budget & Finance Committee at Bnai Torah. He was elected to sit on the School Advisory Councils for Waters Edge Elementary and Olympic Heights High School and has served on the Board of the Donna Klein Jewish Academy.
Rounding out his service to the community, Weinroth served as a Cubmaster at a Pack sponsored by Waters Edge Elementary and was a member of the Executive Council for the Boy Scout Troop sponsored by Loggers Run Community Middle School. He was also twice elected to serve on the Florida Board of Governors.
Robert and Pamela have four sons in their blended family. The oldest, Chuck, following in his fathers footsteps, recently graduated from UC Hastings Law School in San Francisco. In descending order, Michael, recently graduated from Babson College, where he attended on a Presidents scholarship. The contagious entrepreneurial spirit of Weinroth and his wife, Pamela, was intensified by his Babson education. Michael has partnered with a fellow graduate and is developing a strategy for helping first time buyers find properties where the owner is motivated to offer very attractive terms to get out from under the weight of mortgage loans exceeding the value of the homes equity.
David is currently participating in a five month culinary program in Eilat Israel. Finally, Dave (Michael enjoys introducing his brothers to strangers, this is my brother Dave, and my other brother Dave, [apologies to Bob Newhart]) is a freshman at FSU in Tallahassee. A member of the Marching Chiefs and music major, Dave travelled with the Seminoles for several of their away games and topped off the season with the Chiefs appearance at the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando (December 28, 2011) where FSU came back from a 14 point deficit to beat Notre Dame, 18-14.
With the nest pretty cleaned out of children, the Weinroths have adopted two Bichon Poos (or Poochons), Sierra and Sigmund or Siggy, and they all commute to work every day where they serve as honorary therapy dogs to keep the office atmosphere light and relaxed.
Why am I running?
My name is Robert Weinroth and I am running for Palm Beach County Property Appraiser. The incumbent has been on the job for 20 years and it is long past time we had a new set of eyes on the job. As an attorney, businessman and Palm Beach County homeowner, I believe I am uniquely qualified to take on the responsibilities of this position and to find savings and implement efficiencies within the offices of the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser.
I was born in Queens, New York. My family moved out to the Island four years later. Like many kids from Long Island, when it was time for college I headed north to Boston. There, I earned my undergraduate degree in Business Management at Northeastern University and then continued on to law school.
After passing the Massachusetts bar exam, I practiced law and worked for several Boston area insurance companies. I slowly migrated south, with a stop in New Jersey and finally, 19 years ago, we loaded the kids into the family van and headed to the Sunshine State, never to suffer through a Noreaster again.
After settling in Boca Raton, I was engaged as a business analyst by a management consulting company. Week after week, I visited small to medium sized companies throughout Florida to observe and identify obstacles to their success. At the end of each assignment, I presented the business owners with a comprehensive analysis of their company and a plan for restoring operational efficiencies, service & profitability.
For the last 11 years, my wife, Pamela, and I have realized our own entrepreneurial dream by building a successful medical supply company. I still remember the feeling of pride as we signed on our first patient, the first ten patients, the first hundred patients and eventually, over 12,000 patients throughout the United States.
We grew our company, Freedom Medical Services, by treating patients like family. We make sure customer service is never sacrificed in the name of profit or expediency. Our patients return, again and again, because we consistently treat our patients as we would want members of our own family treated, respectfully, accurately and promptly.
I am very involved in our community. I currently serve on the Anti-Defamation Leagues FL Regional Board. I have served as president of two homeowners associations. Im a volunteer Guardian Ad Litem, advocating for the needs of abused and dependent children right here in Palm Beach County.
I have served on the boards of two synagogues, most recently, Bnai Torah Congregation in Boca. And I was elected to the School Advisory Councils for Waters Edge Elementary and Olympic Heights Community High School. I was elected to serve two terms on the Florida Bar Board of Governors. And Pamela and I are active in AIPAC, as members of its National Council, and we have served on several agency boards within the Jewish Federation.
For too long we have accepted the notion that unlike private companies, government agencies need not view customer service as a critical component of their day to day operations. Its time to change that attitude!
As the next Palm Beach County Property Appraiser, Ill infuse my office with a sense of pride among our employees as we achieve greater efficiencies, while simultaneously, responding to the needs of every stakeholder seeking our assistance. There is no reason why customer service and efficiency cannot be the mission of a government agency. The property owners of Palm Beach County deserve no less!
Like a private business, each government agency is a reflection of the leadership style of the person at the top. As your elected constitutional officer, I will take immediate steps to eliminate the adversarial attitude pervading the Property Appraisers office. Producing a fair and equitable tax roll does not mean abandoning service and consideration for our neighbors!
Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with a very successful woman with property holdings in Palm Beach and Broward counties. When she learned I was running for Palm Beach County Property Appraiser she sought me out to tell me how friendly and responsive she finds the Broward County Appraisers staff each time she interacts them.
She contrasted those experiences with a series of unpleasant and frustrating episodes when she dealt with our Property Appraisers office on matters similar to those she addressed without complication in Broward County. As your Property Appraiser, that will not be your experience when you reach out for help from our office.
Addressing customer service, however, does not mean ignoring fraud and waste. Each year, millions of dollars in tax revenues are lost due to the abuse of statutory exemptions. The weight of those lost tax revenues must be shouldered by each of us. The widespread application of the Homestead Exemption makes it a fertile area for abuse.
A property owner benefiting from an undeserved Homestead Exemption doesnt just shield $50,000 of a homes assessed value from taxation. Those properties also enjoy an undeserved 3% Save Our Homes cap on annual increase of a Homesteaded propertys Assessed Value for Tax Purposes. As I said before, as a result of this abuse, our property tax rates must increase to cover the lost tax revenues or services must be reduced.
After a short, well publicized, amnesty period, I will assemble a team of forensic specialists focused on rooting out fraud and identifying misrepresentations made by county property owners, ineligible for the exemptions to recoup the taxes they should have paid based on the just value of their residential property. The combination of property owners availing themselves of the amnesty period and purging themselves of their past misdeeds coupled with the aggressive effort to collect millions in lost property tax revenues from multiple years, will dramatically reduce the near term pressure for millage rate increases and service reductions.
I will also inaugurate an outreach program to meet with and educate, residents, in the community, on the process of setting values as well as providing an explanation of all exemptions and the application of Portability. In addition, our employees will help residents complete their applications for exemptions and appeals and share with them the information used to calculate their propertys assessed value.
The Property Appraisers office is the peoples office and I will return its focus to serving the stakeholders of Palm Beach County. I will bring to this job a common-sense approach to foster equity, accuracy and transparency, while remaining fair, courteous, friendly and accessible to everyone I am privileged to serve.
My phone number and email address will be prominently displayed on our website and I will solicit regular feedback on how we execute our responsibilities. And, the picture stakeholders will see when they go online to use the Property Appraisers Public Access System will not be my airbrushed headshot, but rather, pictures of employees of the Property Appraisers office who distinguish themselves by providing exceptional customer service.
Election Day for this non-partisan office is August 14th. i ask for the endorsement of DEMOCRACY for AMERICA.
TRANSPARENCY: I will invite the PBC Inspector General to come in and review the office operations. The Property Appraiser, as a Constitutional Officer, is not required to allow the Inspector General into the office. The incumbent has refused to allow the Inspector General to come in and review operations. It is my feeling this would be a beneficial exercise (especially as I assume the reins of an office where the incumbent has operated without any outside oversight for 20 years). I solicit her suggestions on procedures for making the office more cost effective and efficient. A preliminary analysis of the expenses of this office disclose low productivity and high expense per parcel ratio compared to the top 20 counties. Only Miami-Dade is less efficient.
FIGHT FRAUD: The proliferation of FRAUD in Southern Florida is well documented. MEDICARE and FL MEDICAID use this area of the State of Florida as "poster child" for the expenses of FRAUD. In Florida, HOMESTEAD EXEMPTIONS have the broadest application. Eligible residential homeowners are entitled to a $50,000 exemption from the taxable value of their home for ad valorem taxes. In addition, the taxable value of properties eligible for the HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION cannot increase by more than the CPI or 3% (whichever is less). While not a factor in the INCREASED TAXABLE VALUE of residential parcels over the past few years, properties enjoying this exemption continue to enjoy a taxable value below their actual appraised value.
In a sister county to our South (BROWARD), over $5 billion in real estate has been restored to the tax base over the past 5 years. Their intensive program to ferret out fraud has the two-fold benefit of keeping property owners honest (knowing there is a program to identify potential fraud) and identifies owners from whom back taxes and liens can be secured to reduce the burden on the remaining property owners.
CLIENT SERVICE: "County Service" should not be an oxymoron. As a business owner, I recognize the need to treat each person who walks in our office like family so they leave feeling they have been treated fairly. No only is it the responsibility of the Property Appraiser to value the property within the county FAIR and EQUITABLY but the stakeholders must be, likewise, treated FAIR and EQUITABLY. Today, our residents so not feel they are being treated fairly and when they have a question on the value of their property, the incumbent takes a hard line approach forcing people with questions to take their questions to the VALUE ADJUSTMENT BOARD for review.
My DFA Values
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My Campaign is People Powered!
We are campaigning a well entrenched incumbent (finishing two decades as the County's Property Appraiser). For the past 4-6 mos I have been meeting all over the county with political clubs, homeowners associations, chambers of commerce and any other organized group and have presented my message. As a result, individuals from these meetings have volunteered to be "pebbles in the pond" and create individual ripples. Each ripple touches other voters who, in turn, create their own ripples in the pond. Our organization is lean on paid staff and has the benefit of very positive word of mouth. We are heartened by the traction the campaign has with the voters of Palm Beach County. Our's IS a people-powered campaign!