Walter Price is running for Pasco County property appraiser—the first opponent Mike Wells has had to face in 15 years. Patch recently caught up with Price to find out what makes him tick.
Q: Who is Walter Price? What do you want Pasco voters to know about you?
A: I am married to my wife Cynthia and have two boys Caleb and Ethan. I am a
born and raised Floridian. I have been coming to Pasco County my entire life as I
have had relatives living here since the sixties. I am currently a certified real
estate appraiser with over 7 years of experience in commercial and residential
appraising. What I would like the citizens to know about me is that I am not just
another politician running for office. I am a citizen running for office. I want the
residents of the county to know that I only have their interests in mind and no one else’s. I want the citizens to know that if I’m privileged enough to receive their vote and ultimately become their employee, I will serve them with the utmost honor, respect and most importantly integrity.
Q: How has your background prepared you to effectively fulfill the duties of county property appraiser?
A: Due to my extensive experience in appraising all types of properties both
commercial and residential, throughout Pasco County over the years, I have been fortunate enough to experience three different markets (Stable, Increasing and Declining). Most real estate professionals have to wait 20 years to experience a cycle of which we have seen recently.
Q: What is your assessment of current Pasco County property values?
A: Currently the county is still seeing a decline in values. The supply in the county is very high including the vacant land which has a supply of anywhere between 6-ll years, depending on the size of the lot. Overall, according to MLS data the county dropped roughly 20 percent in its median sales price from 2010 to 2011.
Another concern is the amount of distress activity this county is seeing. Almost
50 percent of the current listings and sales that are occurring in this county are either real estate owned/bank owned or short sales. With continual concern about unemployment and the upcoming elections I don’t see a sudden turnaround in values until employment fixes itself. As a side note, Pasco County’s unemployment rate about a month ago was 1l.7 percent, compared to the national unemployment rate of 8.6 percent and the state of Florida having an unemployment rate of l0 percent.
Q:You are Mike Wells' first opponent in 15 years. What needs changing?
A:The fact that I am the first opponent in 15 years should raise questions alone. We live in the United States of America where we should be having elections where the people get to choose and not have somebody unopposed year after year. As far as changing things I am very concerned about the methods used to determine assessed values and what channels are being utilized to collect the necessary data to determine those assessed values.
Q: Your campaign website says that you will “Bring new ideas and fresh technology to the county and its residents.” Can you give a couple of examples?
A: Technology has changed the way we communicate and more importantly it has changed human behavior. People are looking for information when, where and how they want to receive it. Whether it’s a face-to-face meeting, a website,
webinar or via social media channels.
I plan to deliver new ideas to people by meeting with them face-to-face, via
website, webinars and utilizing social media. Technology is a tool, it has changed
how people communicate and I believe it is incumbent upon me to make it easy
for the people of Pasco to know what is impacting their single largest investment: their home or business.
For more information, including Price's resume, visit his campaign website.