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Who will be named to fill property appraiser vacancy?

Photo: David Nolte

Gov. Rick Scott was preoccupied in recent weeks with his bid to become a U.S. Senator, so word on the streets is there’s no big rush to fill the Indian River County property appraiser’s office in the wake of David Nolte’s death.

Nolte’s funeral was two weeks ago, but the vacancy was not a huge shock. The man who held the property appraiser’s job for nearly four decades died battling an extended illness – not of a sudden tragedy. The work of government must go on, but too much of Nolte’s term has elapsed to mandate a special election. So it appears there will be a gubernatorial appointment.

Which governor – Scott or Ron DeSantis? Who knows.

Nolte made it known that he wanted his loyal deputy, Sissy Long, to be elevated and serve out the balance of his term until January 2021, giving Long the strategic advantages of incumbency in the next election.

But as news spread that Nolte had passed away in hospice care and his friends mourned, pragmatic party leaders floated names removed from Nolte’s immediate circle who could step into the job.

The first person outside the Property Appraiser’s Office to come up was an obvious one, former County Commissioner and auctioneer Wesley Davis, who challenged Nolte in the 2016. But after losing a bitter GOP primary to a popular incumbent, it’s unknown if Davis would have his party’s support.

Vero-based private property appraiser Steve Boyle Jr. is another option, but he would need to assure taxpayers he had no conflict of interest based on his link with the Boyle & Drake real estate appraisal and consulting firm.

CPA Glenn Heran, best known for his decade-long quest to get Vero Beach out of the electric business, considered applying, but decided against it. Heran said he’s not ruling out a run in 2020, but that right now, his family’s rental property companies are a full-time job.

Whoever is appointed, it will be good to have someone new in charge, despite the sad circumstance of Nolte’s death. It’s tough to support the position that anyone should hold office for 38 years – which was the length of Nolte’s reign as appraiser.