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Who wants Broward schools superintendent job? Despite Jan. 3 deadline, list of candidates hasn’t been released.

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South Florida Sun Sentinel

Jan 12, 2022 5:34 PM

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The deadline to apply to become the next leader of Broward schools ended more than a week ago, but all but one applicant remains a mystery.

The School Board plans to meet Jan. 24 to start reviewing applications for its next superintendent, with tentative plans to hire someone in February. The superintendent will be the permanent replacement for Robert Runcie, who stepped down in August following his April 21 arrest on perjury charges.

All candidates had to submit by Jan. 3, but a search firm has yet to turn over the applications or even a list of names to School Board members.

Interim Superintendent Vickie Cartwright has said she will apply. “Dr. Cartwright is an applicant and is not involved in the search process,” district spokeswoman Keyla Concepcion said.

Despite repeated public records requests from the South Florida Sun Sentinel for applications of all candidates, the school district said Tuesday and Wednesday it is not yet in possession of the information. “Once the independent search firm completes the process it was hired to do, it will provide the information to the District,” said a statement from the office of Kathy Koch, chief communications officer for Broward schools.

She was originally not allowed to apply for the permanent job, but the School Board agreed in October to drop that restriction.

Broward County Interim Schools Superintendent Vickie Cartwright, pictured here in September, is the only publicly known applicant for the permanent job.

Broward County Interim Schools Superintendent Vickie Cartwright, pictured here in September, is the only publicly known applicant for the permanent job. (Amy Beth Bennett / South Florida Sun Sentinel)

School Board members Debbi Hixon and Nora Rupert said they have asked for the applications for the permanent job but were told that the district’s search firm, Ray and Associates, has them, and they’re not available.

Hixon said she was told by Human Resources Chief Alan Strauss they won’t be available until Tuesday.

A representative from Ray and Associates, which is based in Iowa, did not respond to a request for comment by the South Florida Sun Sentinel. School Board Chairwoman Laurie Rich Levinson also couldn’t be reached.

The Sun Sentinel made its first request for a list of the candidates and their applications on Jan. 4, the day after the deadline.

“We received a response that there is no existing list in the possession of the district,” Requel Bell, a clerk in the public records office, wrote on Tuesday. “To comply in good faith, your request has been redirected to the consultants who completed the task. Once a response is received, you will be notified of the results.”

In response to a follow-up email, Bell wrote Wednesday, “The applications you are seeking are not within the possession [of] Broward County Public Schools. We have requested records from the vendor. Once a response is received you will be notified.”

Under state law, the applications are public, regardless of whether they are kept with a government agency or a contractor working on behalf of the government.

“I’m interested to see who’s applied and how many people and that kind of information,” Hixon said. “I just haven’t gotten it so far.”

Broward’s search is happening at the same time as a search in Miami-Dade County schools to replace Alberto Carvalho, who is leaving next month to lead the Los Angeles Unified school district.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Miami-Dade school district released eight applicants for the top job, including Jacob Oliva, senior chancellor for K-12 with the Department of Education. Applicants had until 5 p.m. Wednesday to apply, so it’s possible there would be more candidates.

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“An Iniquitous Mishmash” At Your Service EP #26 is LIVE with Haber and Martinez

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Miami’s Community Newspapers promotes local news and events in your community to you and your neighbors. Find out what’s really happening in your neighborhood with Miami’s Community Newspapers.

Miami’s Community Newspapers services the areas of: Aventura, Biscayne Bay, Coral Gables, Cutler Bay, Doral, Homestead, Horse Country, Kendall, Miami Beach, Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, South Miami, Sunny Isles, and West Park.

Office: 305-669-7355
Legal Notices: 305-284-7376
Advertising: 305-661-9200
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Route 664 is LIVE with host Les Winston and guests Michael Chatman & Joe Gabris from ASIB

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Miami’s Community Newspapers promotes local news and events in your community to you and your neighbors. Find out what’s really happening in your neighborhood with Miami’s Community Newspapers.

Miami’s Community Newspapers services the areas of: Aventura, Biscayne Bay, Coral Gables, Cutler Bay, Doral, Homestead, Horse Country, Kendall, Miami Beach, Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, South Miami, Sunny Isles, and West Park.

Office: 305-669-7355
Legal Notices: 305-284-7376
Advertising: 305-661-9200
Submit a Press Release

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How to pay less property tax on your home

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How to pay less property tax on your home
Miami-Dade Property Appraiser Pedro Garcia (left) with Hal Feldman.

It’s 2022 and still before the due date of March 1st. You owe it to yourself to make sure you are taking advantage of every property tax exemption possible. Over the years, you can save tens of thousands of dollars. I’ll start with the easiest exemption.

Homestead Exemption


Each year, January 1 through March 1, the Miami-Dade Property Appraiser’s office allows homeowners to file for Homestead Exemption. This valuable deduction is only for a homeowner’s primary residence and once you file, it automatically renews each year. The exemption provides a $25,000 in assessed value for all taxing authorities and another $25,000 to all tax authorities (except the School Board).

Homestead Exemption also provides an additional valuable benefit of capping the annual increase of an assessed value to 3 percent or the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is lower. Over a few years, this can save a homeowner a ton of money. Just looking at 2021 where some property values increased by more than 20 percent, those Homestead Exempt properties will only see an increase in their property taxes of 1.7 percent (the 2021 CPI rate). And, just like bank interest, capping each year can have a compounding and impressive effect on your tax saving over the years.

So, for brand new homeowners or those who moved to Florida from other areas, it is critical that you file for Homestead Exemption to start your years of tax savings! You can file online at: miamidade.gov/PaPortal/AutoOnlineFile/ExemptionOnlineMainMenu.aspx

Other Exemptions


If you are already a Florida homeowner, you might have turned 65 during 2021. If so, don’t forget to take advantage of the Senior Citizen Exemption! Savings vary based on your personal situation, but they can be significant. Further, if you are 65+ and lived in the same home for more than 25 years, you would be eligible for a Long-Term Resident Senior Citizen Exemption.

If you are deployed military, have a disability, are a disabled first responder, are a widow/widower, you have some property tax exemptions you can file for as well.

The Miami-Dade Property Appraiser, Pedro Garcia, sat down with me on January 6 on “The MiamiHal Real Estate Show” at the Miami’s Community Newspaper Studios to explain all of this and more in detail. You can watch this show at: miamihal.com/the-miamihal-real-estate-show/2022/1/6/episode-47

Beyond Exemptions


There are even more savings for homeowners in Florida who want to upsize, downsize or just move within the State. Known as portability, property owners with Homestead Exemption and an accumulated SOH Cap can apply to transfer (or “Port”) the SOH Cap value (up to $500,000) to a new homestead property. This application is known as the “Transfer of Homestead Assessment Difference”, and the annual deadline to file for this benefit and any other property tax exemption is March 1st.

Portability allows you to bring the years of accumulated property tax savings along with you (at least a percentage thereof) and it is meant to provide Floridians the freedom to choose the best housing for their situation without losing the tax standing they have earned over the years of being in Florida.

The detailed explanation is longer than this article space allows, so I point you to this article on my website: miamihal.com/hals-blog/2009/10/13/property-tax-saving-mechanisms-for-floridians.html

The Miami-Dade Property Appraiser’s Office is run more like a business than a governmental office. It allows Pedro Garcia to promise true customer service. During my show, he promised any Miami-Dade County resident that his office will answer your questions via phone on that call or get you a response within one business day. The Miami-Dade Property Appraiser’s Office phone number is 305-375-4712 and the very helpful website is at miamidade.gov/pa/home.asp

One word of warning to heed. Garcia mentioned that the County is looking for people who are looking to defraud the State of due taxes. Penalties are stiff and his office has powerful automated tools to detect violators. “Some people make honest mistakes when initially filing or they fail to report a change that effects their eligibility,” said Pedro Garcia. “We’ll work with those people. But outright purposeful fraud will not be tolerated.”

When used right, the property tax exemptions are an incredible benefit to homeowners. Make sure you take advantage!

Real Estate Update


As of 1/7/22, there were only 64 properties for sale in Pinecrest, 27 homes pending sale and 4.2 months of inventory. This is still a Seller’s market, but not forever! If you’re ready to move, get the best local expertise, truthful guidance and realistic expectations. It’s easy to get started at miamihal.com/getstarted. I invite you to view past episodes of my The MiamiHal Real Estate Show at miamihal.com/the-miamihal-real-estate-show to hear from experts and get the latest real estate news.

Hal Feldman (MiamiHal) is a Realtor with RE/MAX Advance Realty. You can contact him with your story ideas or real estate questions at www.MiamiHal.com, Hal@MiamiHal.com or www.facebook.com/MiamiHal


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