Our Take: COMMISSION VS CLERK

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COMMISSION VS CLERK

In the dust-up between the Seminole County Commission and the Clerk of the Circuit Court, the figure of $60,000 popped up. That is the amount the County wants to pay an Orlando firm to manage the money collected in November from our taxes until it is needed for expenses throughout the fiscal year.

The amount of money managed is a little less than $400 million.

The Clerk says it is his office’s responsibility to invest the funds. He points out that in the past, this has been the procedure.

All of a sudden, the Commissioners want to get into the act.  They do not show any evidence that the Clerk is not doing a good job, they just want to give $60,000 to an Orlando firm.

Interest rates are slowly going up because of Federal Reserve actions. During September, $454,775 was earned by the Clerk’s office on an average balance of $377,004,119. This figure is 229% higher than prior year earnings. The Clerk also points out that his results are higher than if he had followed the County’s demands. Didn’t have to spend $60,000 to do it ether.

In 2007, the Board of County Commissioners tried to grab power from the Clerk. That time all the Constitutional Officers ended up battling the Board. The Sheriff, Clerk, Tax Collector, Property Appraiser, and the Supervisor of Elections prevailed.

This time, the Chairman of the BCC, John Horan, says he thought they had an agreement with the Clerk, they had agreed on all but two points. What he neglected to say was that the two as written would take the power of investment away from the Clerk and put it under the control of the BCC. 

Seminole County has been run for over one hundred years with a system of checks and balances. The independent Clerk doing his duty as watchdog to make sure all expenditures are lawful has been an important element protecting the reputation of our County.

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