(Orlando, FL) – Jim Duffy, Republican candidate for Orange County Tax Collector, believes that the incumbent tax collector, Earl Wood, is ineffective and must be replaced.
Duffy, 39, says that Wood has become complacent and virtually non-existent as Tax Collector, an office he has held for 47 years. Duffy offers the numerous media accounts and anecdotal comments that taxpayers have made regarding Woods’ lack of performance.
“Earl K. Wood has made many admissions in multiple interviews with the Orlando Sentinel that he cannot fulfill his obligation to Orange County taxpayers.”
“Earl Wood admits that he only goes to the office a few days a week. You cannot effectively run a department with a multi-million dollar budget and ten locations without showing up for work,” stated Duffy.
Duffy also says that Wood is taking advantage of Orange County residents by drawing a salary of more than $150,000 annually while collecting a $90,000 annual pension from the county for the same job.
Duffy also blasted the practice of squeezing contributions from employees in the agency. During the 2008 election period Wood collected contributions from several Tag Agency Managers and other employees. Since Orange County’s Tag Agencies are under the control of the Tax Collector this represents a clear conflict of interest and may violate state elections and ethics laws, especially if those contributions were collected in government buildings.
“Since Wood held no fundraisers and did not solicit contributions in traditional ways like direct mail, one would have to conclude that the contributions were collected during work hours in taxpayer funded buildings,” Duffy commented.
Duffy says that “elected officials should never accept contributions from people employed by the agency they are elected to lead, contending that it could give the appearance of undue influence, and vows never to accept such contributions as Tax Collector.
Duffy says Orange County voters and the media need to pay closer attention to constitutional officers like Tax Collector, citing that Wood, and other similar elected officials are continually re-elected simply because they happen to be in office and fly under radar for the local media.
“The Tax Collector’s race does not involve social issues, policy setting, or legislative action. It doesn’t include the issues that normally get voters riled up. Yet, we entrust the Tax Collector with a large amount of financial responsibility. Voters need to make an informed decision about who they elect to hold the position.” Duffy concluded.
Duffy is the Republican candidate for Orange County Tax Collector and previously won countywide office as a member of the county’s soil and water conservation board.