Cregg Dalton is one of my favorite people.
A former sheriff’s sergeant, voters a year ago elected Cregg as the county property appraiser, a post many were surprised to find on the ballot.
There was another candidate with more field experience than Cregg, and the other candidate had the backing of the incumbent, Les Cook, who was not running again.
But the other guy didn’t have Cregg’s community creds, and that takes someone a long way – as it should.
We don’t talk much about the constitutional officers, particularly the ones like Cregg who are elected to a pretty significant job but not one that’s blasted across the front page every day.
Cregg isn’t one of my favorite people because he’s an awesome appraiser, though I’m sure he’s pretty good at it. We sat in his office several months back as he excitedly discussed several ideas he had to make the public more comfortable with the appraising process.
My admiration of Cregg is more in line with his service to the community, not his politics.
I feel the same way toward Clerk of Court Angela Vick, Tax Collector Janice Warren and Supervisor of Elections Maureen “Mo” Baird. All are entrenched in the community, volunteering for organizations that benefit from their leadership. With all four, service to the citizens of Citrus County preceded their election and only grew afterwards.
So when Cregg’s office Christmas card arrived Monday in the Just Wright Citrus inbox, my first thought was how blessed we are in this county to have such caring people in elected office. I’ve been around a while. It isn’t always that way.
The other two constitutional officers, Sheriff Mike Prendergast and Superintendent of Schools Sandra “Sam” Himmel no doubt have strong community ties as well (Himmel’s family created politics in this county).
We’re going to talk plenty about this in the 2022 election season. These folks are examples of the kinds of candidates we want – those who place service to fellow citizens above personal ambition. Let’s see who steps up.
To Cregg Dalton and his wife Nancy, prayers for a Merry Christmas and awesome New Year.
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Mike Wright has written about Citrus County government and politics for 35 years.