Questionable Ethics & Wasting YOUR Taxpayer Money
This is a very popular political tactic among most career politicians. It is name recognition by political branding. Unfortunately, we the taxpayer, pay a huge price when the elected official leaves office. Everything that is branded with their name must be discarded and new inventory must be ordered. The cost may vary from $20,000 to $30,000 and could happen every four year election cycle! Although this practice is not illegal, there should be legislation passed to stop this self-serving agenda!
The previous Tax Collector did not brand the office. The current Tax Collector replaced the "Indian River County Tax Collector" name with her name on all material and signage.
Once elected as your next Tax Collector, the branding stops. All inventory will be replaced with the name of Indian River County Tax Collector. My name will only appear on that which can be digitally removed with a key stroke and at no cost to the taxpayer, i.e., website, and the Tax Collector's business cards will be the only item to replace!
The pictures below are just some of the materials that bear the current Tax Collector's name, which will have to be replaced. There are many more stamps, signage and other stationary items that are not shown here.
Business cards - front
Business cards - back
Even the office doors have the Tax Collector's name stenciled on them $$$$!!!
For your information: Neither Florida law or statutes require you to write your check to the name of the tax collector. Your checks can be made payable to Indian River County Tax Collector and will be accepted!
Was it not enough to just have
"Tax Collector, Indian River County" printed on the bank checks?
Now all bank account checks will have to be destroyed and replaced!
QUESTIONABLE CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS
The current Tax Collector received $3,500 in campaign contributions from the Tax Software Company in which the Tax Collector's office is contracted to do business with.
Although it is not illegal to do this, it is a questions of ethics! Grant Street Groups, Inc. provides an amazing software product that has streamlined the Tax Collector's office in many ways. This is not intended to be a negative reflection on the company or individuals who made these contributions. The Tax Collector should have refused.
Where are the ethics?
As your next Tax Collector, I would never ask for campaign contributions from any vendor contracted with the Tax Collector's
The Tax Collector is using $24,200 of your taxpayer money to pay for promotional office advertising. Also, it appears that the Tax Collector is projected to go over the approved $24,200 budget!
Why is the Tax Collector's office paying for promotional advertising? All of the information you need to know about the Tax Collector's office is on the office website and Facebook. No previous Tax Collector ever used taxpayer money to promote the office in such a wasteful amount as this.
Has the current Tax Collector spent this amount of money on promotional advertising in off-election years 2017, 2018 and 2019 ? Or, is it simply an extension of her campaign?
$24,200 could be paying for the salary of another frontline clerk!
I filed to run for Tax Collector January 4, 2018.
The following month two (2) newly-created salaried positions were put into place at the Tax Collector's office with combined salaries of $77,851
Web & Graphics Specialist AND Public Affairs Administrator
Having worked in the tax office for 14 years, I can confidently say neither of these positions are warranted.
Were these positions also created as simply an extension of her campaign?
Any website or graphics work could be contracted out, rather than spend taxpayer money on the cost of a full-time salaried position with retirement and benefits.
To create a position such as a "Public Affairs Administrator," whose primary responsibility is to manage the office Facebook page and promote Kids Tag Art (a 501C3 non-profit organization), is unnecessary and obviously the job description was not communicated very well.
Since February 2018, four (4) different individuals have held this position. The first was demoted within months, the next two resigned, the current employee was just re-hired back to the tax office. This current employee is in DROP (FL retirement program) and must retire in less than 5 years.
Do either of these positions even meet the Department of Labor exemption status criteria for a salaried employee; such as, being able to hire/fire, supervise other employees and make independant decisions?
On April 22, the Tax Collector was participating in a Facebook "live" video. In the video she walks by the finance director's office, calls her by name and says they are busy busy! Around the time of the live video you can see car sales being posted on the Finance Director's personal Facebook page. There are more posts on other days during working hours.
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Tax Collector Employees
The Tax Collector is not permitted to use the Tax Collector's office in ANY capacity for campaigning. Since filing to run last November, the Tax Collector is now a candidate and must qualify to get on the ballot.
The pictures below were taken recently at a Downtown Friday event. The Tax Collector was representing the office with Tax Collector employees and office banners while getting her candidate petitions completed. Where are the ethics?
PENDING LAWSUIT THAT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO COST TAXPAYERS THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS!
If this incident happened as described, the supervisor should have been terminated immediately upon a fair proven investigation. At the very least, the supervisor should have been demoted and reprimanded with a very extensive probation period. The aggrieved employee should have also received an apology from this supervisor, as well as the Tax Collector. Although management cannot control the actions of employees, everyone is accountable for their actions including management.
When employees see that Leadership takes immediate action towards discrimination, bullying, etc., employees will feel represented, valued and appreciated and are less likely to go to the extreme of filing lawsuits.
The current Tax Collector does not have an experienced HR professional employed in the tax office. The HR Coordinator, a 6+ year employee, walked out recently because of bullying by management.
This was the 104th employee to leave under the current administration in 11 years!
The first question should be... How did it get this far?
What an embarrassment to our County!
Note: When the Tax Collector realized pictures were being taken of this, they quickly removed the petitions. They were put back later that evening.
This EEOC complaint is still open and nearing the time for ruling.
If in fact other employees are speaking out or coming forward to share their experiences of how they were and are being treated by senior management in the Tax Collector's office, the financial impact for our community could be astronomical!
No previous Tax Collector has ever had discrimination lawsuits filed against them.
The Tax Collector allows the Finance Director to work from home one or two days a week. This senior management employee also owns two active businesses on the side. Why is the Tax Collector allowing her to also conduct her personal business at work on your taxpayer dime as well?
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How is an executive assistant's salary of $87,769 warranted for a local county government administrative office?
This executive assistant is also getting "Senior Management benefits"!
What is more concerning, it's even higher than the Director of I.T. & Facilities.
The I.T. Director is by far, one of the most important jobs in the
office, second to the Finance Director!
Even the Director of Motor Services & CWL Operations, who has the frontline operational responsibility of the employees and four offices is making less!
More Wasteful Spending!
Why was $1,492 of Taxpayer money used to pay for a mural, purchase the paint and provide scaffolding for the Sebastian office?
Why is this Vendor entered under "General Supplies"?
Why is the General Supplies already over the approved $9,400 budget and the Tax Collector is expected to spend $3,500 more!
Were any of the local Art Clubs contacted for this project? Considering this is in Sebastian, the Sebastian Art Club would have done it at no cost to the taxpayer; just as they painted the mural at the Sebastian Community Center to bring awareness of their club.
This is not intended to offend the talented artist
that completed the mural.
You cannot run a government office financially
the same as the private sector.
This is the taxpayers' money being spent!
More important FACTS will be posted soon. It is important that you and our community are informed with what is really going on in the Tax Collector's office before you vote on August 18, 2020! Please share my website with your friends and family! Check back, more to come!