By Tony Aguilar
Special to the Caloosa Belle
Eleven years ago, I decided to take a leap of faith and apply for the position of field analyst in the Hendry County Property Appraiser’s (HCPA) office. While I expected my job to consist mostly of measuring and photographing houses, gathering relevant information, and keying data into our system; I quickly understood that there was much more to my position than I had anticipated.
The more I interacted with our local property owners, the more I realized how many people in our community were unaware of the opportunities available to them through our office. From then on, the property owner’s experience became one of my top priorities.
In the ten years of working for the HCPA, I learned that informing our residents and property owners is crucial to maintaining an office that provides fair and equitable tax roll; and, in order to make this happen, it is important to make our information accessible to our everyday property owner regardless of their language preference, background education, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, race, etc.
In my career as the HCPA field analyst, I personally practiced this belief during my field visits, reaching out to property owners, getting to know them and their families, and providing them with information they sometimes did not know they needed. Even beyond my previous role as a HCPA field analyst, I have taken this same approach in other aspects of my professional and personal life.
Now working in the Hendry County Tax Collector’s office, I make sure to put the tax payer’s experience at the top of my priority list, ensuring each person that comes into our office leaves with a positive experience and their questions answered.
During my time as an active member of the Chamber of Commerce for LaBelle, I focused on the diversity of our small town, being an active voice for many of our minority groups. Fortunately, I am able to relate to several groups of people because I have participated in a variety of organizations and events. Not only do I understand the perspective of the public servants working in office, I can also relate to the everyday resident because I have worked beside them during my time as a Little League member, I have served them during my time with my family’s business Two Men and a Pig, and I have lived by them during my lifetime here in our hometown of LaBelle.
It would be my privilege to serve the public as the next Hendry County Property Appraiser. If elected, I would make sure to continue keeping our residents’ experience a priority, updating our means of communication with our residents and making all information accessible. My team will focus on keeping our hometown aware of the opportunities available to them. We will also build upon our good standing relationships with our realtors and partnering departments. In order to continue working efficiently and proactively, I would like to offer future trainings for our realtors, informing them of our offers for new home buyers and helping them to navigate our county website and resources. It would be a honor to continue moving our hometown of LaBelle forward as we grow together into the future. I am grateful for your support in the November Election.