Gary Joiner will be sworn in as Pasco County’s property appraiser in the new year. But, he started laying the groundwork for his first day soon after winning the Nov. 8 election.
Joiner’s starting point is customer service.
He has met with some of the office staff members to discuss ways, for instance, of modernizing the website.
He wants ideas on how to make it more user-friendly.
“Tell me what works and what doesn’t work,” he said. “We’ll build on that.”
It all comes back to customer service.
“It has to be No. 1,” said Joiner, who worked for more than 33 years at the Pasco County Tax Collector’s office. His last position was as director of operations.
Joiner replaces Mike Wells Sr., who chose not to seek a sixth, four-year term in the office.
Joiner defeated Democrat Jon Sydney Larkin in the general election after winning the Republican primary against former Pasco County Commissioner Ted Schrader.
Long-range, Joiner plans to focus on making sure the office is up-to-date on technology. Eventually, he would like the property appraiser’s office to move off the county’s mainframe and operate a web-based platform, either in-house or with a third-party contractor.
Among the challenges for the property appraiser’s office is the explosion of new development.
“We need to make sure we have enough staff on the road, looking at the new buildings, getting these assessments and values,” Joiner said. “We want them to be right.”
Joiner knows the county well.
He grew up in New Port Richey, and graduated from Gulf High School.
He attended Pasco-Hernando State College, though he didn’t earn a degree. “It’s probably one of my regrets, not finishing college,” he said.
Instead, he worked at a local hardware store for $3.60 an hour. More than a year later, he took a job in the front office of the tax collector’s office, where he stayed more than three decades.
“I took a 10-cent pay cut to come here,” said Joiner.
Over the years, his job positions included supervisor, assistant manager and manager of offices.
“Anytime we opened a new office, I opened it,” said Joiner.
As with any new job, there is a learning curve.
Joiner said he wants to learn all aspects of the property appraiser’s office so that, like the tax collector’s office, it all becomes “second-nature” to him.
“I’ve always had a hands-on approach,” he said. “I want to learn it from the top to the bottom.”
He also looks forward to working with Realtors and others who know Pasco’s real estate inside and out.
It’s part of customer service for everyone.
“We’ll try to make their lives easier,” Joiner said. “They also can be the eyes and ears out there.”
They notice where development is happening, he said, and “we can work as a team. We all take care of the same people.”
Published December 28, 2016