Tax Commissioner Jane Moreland has been working for Dade County for 40 years now and it doesn't look as if she's going anywhere soon, from remarks she made at a cake-and-punch reception Thursday to celebrate the anniversary.
"I still feel pretty good, so we'll see," she said, asked whether she would retire after this term or run for another 4-year hitch in 2020. "I still enjoy the job."
Commissioner Moreland first came to work for Dade not in the tax office but as one of Superior Court Clerk Betty Rogers' deputies in 1979. She stayed in that job for a year and half before moving to the tax office then presided over by Commissioner John Bradford.
Then, after she'd worked for Bradford four years, he stepped down in favor of running for a judgeship vacated by Charlie Gray, who was retiring. "So I ran for tax commissioner," she said. That was 1984, and Jane Moreland won the election and became tax commissioner in 1985.
Since then, she's easily won election after election, usually unopposed, a possible factor in Commissioner Moreland's decision to remain a Democrat even as every other officeholder in the county has switched parties throughout the last 15 years. She says she'll continue that motif if she runs again next year.
"I'm an old-fashioned Democrat," she said. "I don't think that old-fashioned conservatives are the ones who've changed that much."
She said she'd heard talk about making county positions like hers nonpartisan but it had never come to much. "Anyway, we don't make decisions like that. We serve the people, whether they're Democrat or Republican or independent," she said. "We don't make any decisions, we just go with the law."