The Galveston County Tax Office has been recognized by state and county officials as an exemplary service organization. Out of 254 county tax offices in Texas, Cheryl Johnson has lead the Galveston County office to become one of the top seven performing in the State.
Unfortunately, the political campaign of an inexperienced and unqualified candidate challenging the current Tax Assessor Collector has resulted in the publication of outrageous falsehoods about the office. Without knowing anything about how statistics are calculated for county employees, Jackie Peden claims turnover in the Tax Office is excessive. Obviously, she is unaware that strict budget constraints imposed by Commissioners’ Court requires the employment of temporary personnel to supplement staffing 75% of the time. In addition to other HR Director identified flaws in the data being used by Jackie, it is ridiculous to include temporary staff counts in turnover statistics.
With her only experience being employment in a small family owned business, it is not surprising Jackie does not understand what is required to manage a large staff that provides a wide range of services and handles over $500M a year in revenue.
Earlier this year, Jackie and her big government friends were saying our Tax Assessor was being too aggressive cleaning up the voter rolls in conformance with state laws. Now they are saying not enough is being done. Not only has our Tax Assessor done everything legally permissible to keep Galveston County rolls clean, she has pushed the Secretary of State to make system improvements that resulted in issues such as duplicate voters being addressed. Considering Jackie has done nothing at all to improve voter laws and processes, the campaign tactics she has resorted to using can only be described as an underhanded attempt to mislead voters with falsehoods. She clearly knows nothing about voter laws or the history of efforts to clean up the rolls in Galveston County.
Cheryl was the first Galveston County Voter Registrar to demand lists of jurors claiming to be non-citizens be provided to the office. The citizenship status of these individuals is now reviewed and when appropriate, the information is forwarded to the District Attorney for investigation. The voter rolls in Galveston County are audited regularly. Cheryl has been a statewide leader in voter registration and maintenance processes. Has everyone forgotten that she was instrumental in correcting the originally flawed state system?
In summary, Jackie Peden has no government, tax office or appraisal district experience, knows little to nothing about labor laws, and is wholly unprepared to lead a large operation with multiple offices spread across the county. She appears to be an “unqualified political wannabe.” By comparison, (before filing to run in 2004) Cheryl had years of experience in real estate, appraisal and was an elected official on the county’s largest school district board (CCISD) for six years where she worked on policy, budgets and tax rates. She also worked at GCAD where she wrote procedural manuals and performed management audits.
What has the challenger done? Nothing.