Perla T. Hantman draws challenger in District 4 race

Monday, August 18, 2014 0 Comments

Perla T. Hantman draws challenger in District 4 race


A host of seats are up for grabs during the August 26 Miami-Dade primary election, including a district chair for the School Board, the Property Appraiser’s office and Circuit and County Court judges.

Duysevi “Sevi” Miyar, a longtime educator who was born in Istanbul, Turkey, is challenging incumbent School Board Chairwoman Perla Tabares-Hantman for her District 4 Seat, that covers Miami Lakes, Hialeah, Hialeah Gardens and some unincorporated areas.

Hantman was first elected to the School Board in 1996, representing District 4 and in 1998 and 2002 was re-elected to four-year terms without opposition.

 Hantman was re-elected in 2006 and in 2010 and is currently serving her fifth term in office.

In November of 2010, 2011, 2012 and again in 2013, Hantman was elected chair of the Miami-Dade County School Board, a leadership position she had held before. Hantman was first nominated and unanimously elected chair in 1999, becoming the first Hispanic woman to serve in that position.  In 2000 and 2001 she was re-elected and served a second and third consecutive term as chair. Hantman has also served as vice chairman, having been elected to that position in November 2005, 2007 and 2009.

Hantman was born in Havana, Cuba, where she completed high school and attended the University of Havana.  Due to political circumstances, she was forced to emigrate to the United States and continued her education at Barry University in Miami, Florida.

Her career in public service began with the Cuban Refugee Program of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare.  Later, she joined the United States Foreign Service assigned by the Department of State to the American Embassy in Mexico City.

Miyar, 46, has been a teacher for 19 years.

She said she’s running because she wants to bring an educator’s perspective to the school board. “It’s time for teachers to make a difference,” she said.

She said the school education system needs a reform to help students succeed in the state mandated FCAT, and she wants to bring alertness to the changes needed to compete with other districts in the nation such as New York City Department of Education, Los Angeles Unified School District and Chicago Public Schools.

“Being a teacher and parent in the system, I understand the challenges and the needs faced by our parents, teachers and children,” she said. “It is time to transform the future of our children and give them back the quality of education they deserve and give teachers and parents the respect and empowerment they deserve.”

Miyar has been a longtime educator since she arrived from Turkey.

She attended high school at the American School of Kuwait and holds a bachelors degree in Education from Istanbul University. She is a doctoral student in the Educational Technology program at Nova Southeastern University in Davie.

She is currently a high school language arts teacher for the English for Speakers of Other Languages or (ESOL) department and as the Educational Excellence School Advisor Committee (EESAC) chairperson at Hialeah Miami Lakes Senior High School.

Previously, she served as a curriculum development and support specialist at the Division of Bilingual Education in Miami Dade County Public Schools District.

She also hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Public Relations from Istanbul University.

For Miami-Dade property appraiser, Eddy Gonzalez, Albert Armada, Alex Dominguez, Pedro Garcia and Carlos Daniel Gobel are all vying for the seat vacated by Carlos Lopez-Cantera, who was appointed as Florida’s Lieutenant Governor.

Lazaro Solis was appointed to the position until a permanent property appraiser is elected.

Former state representative Gonzalez, who was termed out, previously served two terms on the Hialeah City Council and served on the Hialeah Water and Sewer Department Board in 1998.

He’s a business development leader for CAC Florida Medical Center.

Gonzalez earned his degree in business management and administration from Miami-Dade College.

Armada has been a resident of Miami Dade County for 53 years during the last 23 years, has operated Armada Appraisal & Consulting Company, appraising commercial and residential properties. Previously he served in government for 20 years; the last 11 as the City of Miami’s property and lease manager, managing the real estate portfolio and procuring real estate appraisals.

Over the past six years he has served as a Special Magistrate for Miami Dade County’s Valuation Adjustment Board, hearing commercial and residential appeals and seeing first hand some of the operations of the Property Appraiser’s Office.

Dominguez graduated from Coral Gables High School in 1987 and earned his Bachelor’s degree in finance and international business from Florida International University. He earned his Masters in public administration from Barry University. Dominguez is touting his extensive experience in the private sector as the best candidate for the position, having worked as both a pharmaceutical executive as well as a realtor in the city of Miami for the last 20 years.

“My desire is for the Appraiser’s office to be totally independent of the Miami Dade County Commissioners going forward,” he said. “This will enable the appraisers office to give all our homeowners an honest and accurate property appraisal going forward free from political intrusion.”

Garcia was the property appraiser from 2008 to 2010. He became Miami-Dade’s first elected property appraiser, previously the position was appointed.

In 2010, Garcia narrowly lost to challenger Lopez-Cantera, who at the time was the outgoing majority leader of the state House of Representatives.

Garcia said he cut more than $60 billion off property values and is taking claim for a recent uptake in identifying homestead exemption fraud.

Garcia headed PJ Garcia Appraisal Services for many years.

Gobel was born in Miami, where he attended Christopher Columbus High School and later received his bachelor degrees in real estate and finance from Florida International University, and obtained his MBA from the University of Florida.

He is currently the executive director of a valuation and consulting firm that services the South Florida real estate market. Prior to founding his own firm, Gobel served as residential director and principal and managing director at two other South Florida appraisal firms.

Gobel has vast real estate valuation and consulting experience that includes valuing vacant land, single family residences, manufactured homes, condominiums, co-operatives, multi-million dollar residences, 2- to 4-unit multi-family dwellings, office and apartment buildings, warehouses, and retail centers. Gobel has completed, reviewed, supervised, or consulted on over 8,000 assignments, representing more than $3 billion in South Florida real estate.

The property appraiser’s office oversees a 371-person office with an annual budget of more than $30 million.

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