Democratic candidates for Putnam County Tax Collector

In mid-July, the Palatka Daily News asked candidates in August elections to tell our readers more about themselves. Candidates received extensive questionnaires and were given more than two weeks to complete the questionnaires. Below are the answers from Putnam County Tax Collector race, Linda Lee Frank and Linda Myers. The two Democrats face off in the August primary. Because there is no Republican candidate in the race, the winner of the August primary will be Putnam County’s tax collector.
 

LINDA FRANK

Years living in area: 40 plus years

Family: Husband, Andrew Horvath; Daughters: (3) and Sons (3), Courtney Lee Hiller, Thomas Bryson, Nicole Ann Horvath, Kristan Horvath, Chad Horvath, Dakota Horvath; 2 Beautiful Grandchildren, Logan Hiller and Ella Lambert

Education: 1989 High School Diploma CCHS; 2014 Miller Motte College AA Degree

Still) BA Degree Criminal Justice and Forensic Science and Minor in Business Administration

Current occupation: Putnam County Schools (Kelly Services)

Previous employment: Putnam County Schools (Para-Professional {Teacher’s Aide} Substitute Teacher, Reading Coach); Bookkeeper and Accountant for Sarasota Dry Cleaners; Receptionist for Ford Dealer Ship in Bradenton Florida; Guarentee Title Company Title Policy Writer and Receptionist; ISE International Students Area Representative; Supervisor of Elections Putnam Co. (Assistant Clerk)

Military history: None

Volunteer history: Cancer Benefits, HaLeigh Closet, PTO President for over 5 years for PCS

Public elected offices: None

Any unsuccessful political campaigns: None

Other political and government experience: None

Endorsements received: Yes

1. Why should people vote for you? The reason why I should be elected to this position of Putnam County Tax Collector is that I believe all tax payers have a voice and must be heard. Yes, it might take more time and more effort but who is really paying me to do a job they expect to be done correctly and that is the tax payers. I believe in hard work and nothing is ever gotten easily as you know all my campaign money I have worked every minute of with fundraisers in not the air conditioning but in that hot sun. Dedication with your employees and community make a better environment to build together a community that we all want to be a part of but also watch our children and grandchildren live in. I am a multitasker I have held down two jobs and still went to college full time and completed my college AA Degree with perfect attendance and received a 4.0 I also am currently still working a full time job and currently seeking my BA Degree and have perfect attendance and a 4.0 I am one that will do everything I can to find a correct answer and the proper way to handle things. I am trust worthy person I believe that everyone needs a chance to prove themselves if given this change I will show that I will work hard for not just myself but for the tax payers of this community and make it a bigger and brighter future for our children and grandchildren.

The reason for me running for this selected office is because I believe that the budget and financial overspending. I believe that this organization can insists on delivering world-class service and finding ways for government to do business better, faster and most certainly economically. I believe that public perception of the tax collector’s office we must have the public participate so individuals, governments, institutions and companies or any other entities that are affected by the tax collector’s office bring forth to the public and give them the interest of what is happening with their tax payer’s money. Knowledge is a key factor of growth and community strive in this area is lacking in this office due to how the moral of the office is handled. When morale is low then it affects the customers of our community. To boil it down in a nutshell we need change and change is a must in order to grow and prosper as a community and not continue to be in debt.

2. What are the three most important issues you would address if elected and how would you address them? First and foremost, the budget and financial overspending in this office. I believe that this organization can insists on delivering world-class service and finding ways for government to do business better, faster and economical. Not only this but unnecessary spending has to come to a halt. Secondly, the other areas of the Tax Collectors Office we need to look into making changes should be that of the Business Tax Receipt. With having our customers (Business Owners) having to do multi-step process and the turnaround times taking sometimes up to a week or even longer to process. This doesn’t not make the business owners happy because they are having to take time out of what they need to be completed and driving back and forth between Planning and Development and the Tax Collectors Office. This could be a friendlier and cost effective process if this turned over to Planning and Development since they are the ones whom regulate and sign off on all the approvals before the Tax Collector can even issue the license.

I believe issues are that we need to work with other tax collectors statewide on legislative policy issues and correct those that need to be corrected. We need to see how other communities are growing and find a way for us to build upon that instead of having so many empty businesses around in our areas. Next, we need to take a look into employee concerns. Why are so many employees leaving the tax collector office (12) while this tax collector has been in her term. So we need to have some concerns on the reasoning behind these issues and correct them. I believe with great leadership and dedication to our employees we can do this together as a team not as one. Then we need to have better quality training for our faculty and staff in the areas that they are lacking. Knowledge is a key factor of growth and community strive in this area that we are so lacking in the tax office. Without the knowledge we don't function properly and tax delinquent bills go out when the property owner has already paid them. This also is a costly factor in our area. Finally, public perception of the tax collector office we must have the public participation so the individuals, governments, institutions and companies or any other entities that affect them bring out the public interest of what is happening with their tax payer's money.

3. What other issues do you see as important? To help rebuild the Palatka area all the empty businesses with no business in them. Give the public the chance if they want to rebuild the business area a healthy start and helping hand in doing so.  This way it fills the area and they are also paying the taxes on this so it a win all around. We bring jobs, make the taxes, bring outsiders to our community. The empty homes that are being torn that could be bought and fixed up and turn a profit even if small. This way it will bring in new people to our community and allow them a chance to live here with their families.

4. What specific steps will you take to make government more open and accessible to the public? I would like to see that we have substations and or the locations we have now at each end of the County possibly a couple days a week for the convenience with extended hours.  This will make the flow easier on the citizens of Putnam County to get in and do the things they needed to do but couldn’t get off in time to do these. Or those that had the problems with services on line to come into our branches and allow us to service them and answer all their questions. I have an open door policy for anyone of the citizens of this county to come and speak to me about any of their problems with the department. 

5. Have you ever been convicted of a crime (felony), been disciplined by a professional licensing board or organization or had an ethics violation filed against you? If so, please give details. No 

6. Have you ever filed for bankruptcy, been delinquent on your federal, state or local taxes? If so, please give the details. None

7. Are there any personal details about yourself voters would be interested in knowing? I am a person who is willing to strive at her job. I believe in hard work and dedication. I am that person whom is willing to listen to the county and have their voices heard on the things that they want and how to get every last penny saved for our county to put us back on the right path instead of the one that is continuing to decline more and more. I am not out to give you just and answer so you will walk away. I will find the correct answer and if I don’t know the right one at the time I will certainly search it out till the end. I believe in truth, honesty and that ever since tax payer has a right to know where their important tax dollars go and why. If just given the chance to prove to you I am willing to help, make a change for Putnam County I can honestly tell you will not be sorry for casting you vote for me because I believe your tax dollars are just that your tax dollars not mine and you have a right to say what they are spent on and how. 

 

LINDA MYERS

 

Years living in area: 40 years

Family: Married to Vernon Myers.  Have 6 children and 10 grandchildren.

Education: University of Florida. BS Science Major, BS Accounting Major, Masters Degree in Accounting.

Current Occupation: Putnam County Tax Collector.

Previous Employment: Owner/Operator of Dunkin Donuts/Baskins Robbins Store for 30 years, Certified Public Accountant in private practice for 22 years.

Military History: Raised in a career U.S. Air Force family.  Father retired as Lt. Col. After serving for 30 years spanning WWII, Korean War, and Viet Nam War. 

Other political and government experience: Served as County Commissioner from 1998 to 2006 and as Chairman of County Commission in 2000 and 2004.  Served as Chairman of the Northeast Florida Regional Council, as Chairman of the Northeast Florida Community Action Agency, as Chairman of the Florida Small County Coalition, as Rural Representative for the Florida Dept. of Transportation 2020 Transportation Plan, as Chairman of the Florida Association of Counties Trust, as Chairman of the First Coast Workforce Development Board, as Board Member of the Regional Community Institute, and other local, regional, and statewide bodies.

Endorsements Received: Northeast Florida Association of Realtors.

1. Why should people vote for you? I am asking the voters of Putnam County to vote for me to continue as their Tax Collector because our tax dollars are serious business. With a Master Degree in Accounting, as a 20 year practicing Certified Public Accountant, and as a 30 year successful business owner/operator, I am uniquely qualified to continue to serve the people of Putnam. I bring the proper educational background, retail business experience, and sound judgement required for this office.

2. What are the three most important issues you would address if elected and how would you address them? For the past three years I have addressed and solved many issues.

I will continue to provide a higher a standard of service to our citizens by reducing wait times and efficiency of service.

I will continue to build a team together philosophy focused on providing efficient service to our clients utilizing to the maximum all available resources in the most effective manner.

I will continue to analyze and refine all operations of your Tax Collector’s Office both financially and operationally to produce the best product at the lowest cost to our taxpayers.

3. What other issues do you see as important? I will continue to search for opportunities to bring other services to our three local tax collectors offices.  Recently added birth certificate in-house processing and concealed weapons permit processing are examples of additional functions which we have brought to our office. The more services added, the more we become a one-stop facility, thereby reducing the burden on our citizens.

4. What specific steps would you take to make government more open and accessible to the public? In the past three years your Tax Collector’s Office has been engaged in numerous outreach activities around our County in order to make certain our citizens have the information they need to make informed decisions.  In this same time period we have conducted seminars for our businesses to assist them with title issues for car dealerships, we have conducted tourist development workshops for our lodging industry, as well as presenting other opportunities for our businesses and citizens to be better informed.

5. Have you ever been convicted of a crime (felony), been disciplined by a professional licensing board or organization or had an ethics violation filed against you? No.

6. Have you ever filed for bankruptcy, been delinquent on your federal or local taxes? No.

7. Are there any personal details about yourself voters would be interested in knowing? My present and former community activities include President of Putnam County United Way, Treasurer of Habitat for Humanity, President of Lee Conlee House Domestic Violence Shelter, Board Member of Palatka Christian Service Center, member of Palatka Sunrise Rotary Club, an ordained elder of the First Presbyterian Church of Palatka, Palatka Elks Club Citizen Of The Year, President of the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Person Of The Year Award and numerous other activities and honors.