Career politician Brenda Carey launched into a bizarre exchange Monday morning, leading an employee to file a complaint against the Commissioner.
By Jacob Engels
Seminole County Commissioner Brenda Carey showed up to a local tax office with attitude on Monday morning.
After getting embarrassed at a budget workshop meeting last week for mismanaging county funds by Tax Collector Joel Greenberg, the longtime incumbent took her anger out on an employee of Greenberg’s.
After processing Carey and welcoming her to the counter, the senior customer service representative said that Commissioner Carey immediately began obsessing about the Friday meeting.
Carey reportedly asked the employee if she had seen what happened Friday and began rambling nonsensically.
The employee filed a report with her superiors and with Seminole County, after Carey vacated the office.
“I am a senior customer service representative for the Seminole County Tax Collectors office. This morning I waited on Brenda Carey and her husband. They processed a title transfer and some tag renewals. When she came up to the counter, I greeted her and she said back to me “did you see what went on Friday.”
I told her I did not know what she was talking about, but that I knew of a meeting that was going on Friday in the building. She told me it was the County Commissioner’s meeting. She said that when he (Joel Greenberg) entered the meeting, that he made a (using profanity blank out of himself).”
She went on to add how Mr. Valdes use to give back about four million dollars to the county, and that Joel Greenberg would only be giving back about three million dollars.
“I let her know that I was not interested in all of that. She told me that when I get a chance I should watch the meeting.”
Showing up and harassing front-line employees about an inside baseball gripe with another elected official is unprofessional and juvenile. However, Commissioner Carey’s odd behavior is rooted in the budget crisis in Seminole County.
Carey recently lead the charge to dole out nearly $5million in taxpayer funds to well-connected private developers at Flea World, and the crumbling Rolling Hills Golf Course.
Because of these questionable pet projects, Carey and fellow Commissioner John Horan are claiming the county is broke because the Tax Collector’s office is gifting back less than former Tax Collector Ray Valdes had estimated.
They are even threatening to cut the police department and fire department budgets.
Carey and Horan are longtime friends and political associates of Valdes, despite Mr. Valdes being exposed as a con-man who double dipped on taxpayers for decades.
Valdes is currently under federal investigation for using insider knowledge to conduct shadow bids on the very auctions he oversaw.
To put things in perspective, the projected excess fee return from the Tax Collector’s office was estimated to be around 0.01% of Seminole County’s nearly $800 million dollar budget.
Former Tax Collector Valdes did little to improve the technology or infrastructure over the past 28 years, which lead to big returns for his friends on the Seminole County Commission.
Their addiction to this constantly fluctuating voluntary gift from the Tax Collector’s office is like you building your yearly budget on what Nana sends you on Christmas and your birthday.
Sometimes Nana sends $25, sometimes she sends $200, it’s impossible to predict.
First term Tax Collector Joel Greenberg is currently working to modernize and restructure the office, in an effort to provide shorter wait times to Seminole County residents.
The office is expected to return $20-30million dollars to Seminole County in Greenberg’s first term.
Following the incident from Seminole County Commissioner Brenda Carey, Tax Collector Joel Greenberg said that residents deserve better than Brenda.
“Is this the type of person who should be representing Seminole County? Is this the kind of behavior we expect from our public officials? An elected official is not an ordinary citizen, but one who serves in a position, representing the citizens of Seminole County.
We deserve better than Brenda Carey, perhaps it’s time to consider a recall initiative. I am utterly shocked that Mrs. Carey would use her position to target a member of my staff with her political frustrations, in front of the public.”
Greenberg has taken precautions for another unstable visit from Carey, requiring her to give 24-hour notice before entering another office.
Soil and Water Commissioner Ed Young was upset to hear about Monday’s incident.
“I am proud of Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg for standing up and not budging. It’s his office, his budget, and he is doing what he needs to do, and more importantly, what he was elected to do.”
“Professionalism and decorum is expected from elected leaders like Carey.”
Jacob Engels is an Orlando based journalist whose work has been featured and republished in news outlets around the globe including Politico, InfoWars, MSNBC, Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Daily Mail UK, Associated Press, People Magazine, ABC, and Fox News to name a few. Mr. Engels focuses on stories that other news outlets neglect or willingly hide to curry favor among the political and business special interests in the state of Florida.