A task force that studied whether the Orange County Tax Collector should remain an elected post ended up taking no stance in its final report Thursday.
Instead, the panel laid out options county commissioners can consider to decide the office’s fate, including making it a non-partisan elected post or one that’s appointed. One of those options could go to voters on a 2014 ballot.
The task force was a response to Earl K. Wood, who held the office nearly five decades and faced criticism for not going to work.
Wood had planned to retire but changed his mind and filed to run again on the 2012 ballot.
Soon after, Mayor Teresa Jacobs set up the task force to study options for the position, such as incorporating it into another office.
However, the 96-year-old Wood passed away less than a month before the election. Scott Randolph won after local Democrats picked former state representative to replace Wood on the ballot.
Randolph told the task force the job should remain elected, and Thursday he touted his recent ranking as the second most efficient tax agency of 52 counties analyzed by the state Department of Revenue.
But Randolph also is starting to face a complaint sometimes leveled at Wood, that he used the office to promote himself.
Orange County resident Karen Lougheed said Randolph is doing the same thing with the large orange-lettered signs he put up on two offices that say “Scott Randolph Tax Collector” above the entrance. It’s “getting a taxpayer-funded political advertisement,” she said.