By Kyle LoJacono
Pasco tax collector Mike Olson has run unopposed by Republican competition for the county post the last 16 years, but Ed Blommel is ending that streak.
Blommel, 62, has lived in Pasco his entire life. He has worked 40 years with Tampa Electric Company (TECO), spending the last 17 as the regional manager for before retiring in 2009.
Blommel said his plan to run for the position has nothing to do with Mike Olson being the only Democrat in an elected office in Pasco. Instead, he said it is time for “a new set of eyes and ears” running the post.
“It’s time for someone to have a fresh look at the services and how they are provided,” Blommel said. “Bring new ideas and to add enhancements to the services that are now being provided. It’s time to bring business leadership from the private industry to build on county services. It’s time to focus more on services than on government. ”
Blommel is a graduate of Pasco High, as well as Pasco-Hernando Community College and the University of South Florida. He is also a member of the Dade City Rotary Club and the Dade City and Wesley Chapel chambers of commerce, while volunteering with the United Way, Habitat for Humanity, Pasco Economic Development Council and Pasco Public Education Foundation to name a few.
Blommel was most recently appointed to the Pasco County Housing Authority’s board of directors by Gov. Rick Scott.
“I have a passion for people and a strong desire to serve them,” Blommel said. “If you look at my past history over the last 17 years, it demonstrates both my willingness and my ability to provide service and leadership to Pasco County.”
If elected, Blommel said he has no plans for sweeping changes with the office, but favors “tweaking” it mainly with technology upgrades to improve customer service.
“If you look throughout the county, the tax office serves the most people of any office or department in Pasco,” Blommel said.
Olson, 66, has been the county tax collector since 1981. He said 99 percent of the more than 100,000 customer comments his office has received during his tenure state the service offered as good or excellent.
Olson said he has been on the forefront of upgrading technology with the office, including adding a new cashier system and software to make processing quicker.
“I know what our customers think,” Olson said. “I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I don’t think the people would keep electing me if I didn’t listen to them.”
The tax collector’s office processes property tax payments, provides businesses with tax receipts, sells hunting and fishing licenses and handles new driver licenses and vehicle tag registrations within the county.
Williams files for school board
Bryan Williams has filed to run for the Pasco School District board’s District 2 seat, according to records with the county’s supervisor of elections office. The spot represents most of the central portions of the county, including Land O’ Lakes. The seat is currently occupied by Joanne Hurley.
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