Yesterday, the discussion over what to do with the high priced office lease for the Orange County Tax Collector and Property Appraiser went before the Board of Commissioners and while the dialog was civil, there were some conflicts over numbers and the sequence of events that led to this debate.
In the center of this conversation was Tax Collector Scott Randolph and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs. There was a short presentation where the speaker called Randolph’s financial projections “inaccurate and misleading assumptions”. Randolph said he was prepared to defend those dollar amounts. The big disconnect came from the cost of actually moving the office out of the Suntrust Towers and over why staying in the tower would lead to the reopening of the Winter Park Tax Collector Center.
It was decided that the County would continue to review all of it’s options with another discussion set for March. “I know you say it’s you spending these dollars” Jacobs said “But it’s really all of us and we have to do what’s right for the taxpayers”.
In a bizarre turn of events, District 2 County Commissioner Fred Brummer decided to attack Randolph for taking business away from Apopka Veterinarians with a mobile pet vet trailer that visited the Northwest Orange site once a week. The trailer in question delivers simple services to pets only and owners would still have to visit a vet for more thorough treatment. This continued Brummer’s aggressive behavior that I wrote about yesterday (story HERE).
The media reaction was mixed.
WESH 2 published this Randolph friendly report that said the Mayor was dragging their feet. They didn’t feature the numbers involved during the slide show. It also painted the Mayor as being over controlling.
WFTV aired this follow-up to Randolph hiring a paid lobbyist to go before the commission at 5K a month. The investigation in question is regarding the task force assigned to discover whether the Tax Collector position is even needed to begin with or can it be consolidated with other departments. You’ll notice Brummer continuing his assault on this report and Jacobs’ notoriously long pause when asked about being lobbied. The County has strict lobby regulations, she could have replied with that.
I’ll continue to keep an eye on this story for you.