Friday, November 2, 2012

A reminder about the Orange County Tax Collector's race

If you are voting in Orange County, Florida, one of the races on your ballot is for Orange County Tax Collector. I strongly encourage you to support Jim Huckeba.

Long-time Tax Collector Earl K. Wood passed away last month at the age of 96, after almost half a century in office. Many people thought he stayed in office too long, but he was a nice, kindhearted man, and while I think there were legitimate questions raised about how well he was able to handle the job in the last few years, I never heard any credible attacks on his integrity.

Many Orange County residents, Republican and Democrat alike, voted over and over for Wood partly due to his well-recognized name (generations have grown up writing his name on checks every time we renewed our drivers' licenses and vehicle registrations) but also because he was a likable, decent guy.

Because Wood passed away so recently, his name is still on the ballot. The Democrats have tapped State Representative Scott Randolph to take his place, so a vote for Wood will count for Randolph. Unfortunately, the qualities that gave Wood bipartisan appeal throughout our community are not ones that Randolph shares. 

Randolph is trying to run a stealth campaign, hoping that he can inherit the decades of goodwill associated with Wood's name. Besides the fact that Randolph lacks any real experience that would qualify him for the position, he has spent the past few years as a partisan hack of the worst kind.

Randolph's time in the Legislature has been utterly unremarkable and woefully short on accomplishments. Other than headline-generating theatrics, he got very little legislation passed. Admittedly, part of that is due to the Democrats' position as the minority party, but State Senator Gary Siplin managed to work with the Republicans and get a number of bills passed.

Randloph's problem is that he just doesn't play very well with others, even in his own party. He does not deserve your vote.

Fortunately, we have a great alternative in Jim Huckeba, who has my enthusiastic endorsement. He has a long and successful career with a strong background in business management, specifically in transitioning businesses, which is the type of experience desperately needed at the tax collector's office.

Huckeba has taken the time to thoroughly research the operations of the tax collector's office, and has specific recommendations for changes that he has posted on his website. Most notable is probably his goal to get rid of the job entirely.

Yes, you read that correctly: Huckeba is running for an office with the goal of putting himself out of work as quickly as possible. 

It actually makes sense and, in my opinion, is an idea worth exploring. The tax collector does not make any policy decisions, does not set tax rates, but is merely an administrative office that collects the fees that other government agencies (the state legislature and county commission, mainly) control. The responsibilities of the office could be consolidated under the Orange County Commission and the Comptroller, so they would still be under someone who was elected and therefore accountable to the voters. Read more about how consolidation could work here.

Please support Jim Huckeba for Orange County Tax Collector. He deserves your vote.

Jim Huckeba for Tax Collector on Facebook

1 comment:

  1. Jim Huckeba is a good man and got the votes of everyone in my house.


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