Vision led Maloy to tax collector’s office
By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook staff writer
Doris Maloy didn’t doubt her husband, Rudy, when he suggested that she take a stab at running for Leon County tax collector.
He made a point of the credentials she had established.
She’d spent time with the former financial holding company Arthur Anderson as an intern, worked with the Public Service Commission and handled budget matters in the governor’s office.
But she needed one more little confirmation before she set out to become the first woman who would eventually run the tax collector’s office.
The answer that Maloy sought in prayer came in an epiphany. As Maloy recalls, before she decided to run for office, she saw herself going to a new parking space under in the Leon County Court building, where the tax collector’s office was located at the time.
That was sufficient for Maloy to begin putting in motion her plans to enter her first election.
“I woke up that morning and said, ‘Okay, that’s confirmation’ ” Maloy said.
Since taking over a tax collector in 2000, Maloy has brought creative ideas to the office. Her managerial style also reenergized her staff, encouraging them to bring ideas to the table.
“She is the type of person who doesn’t want it to be her way,” said Connie McCaskill, who worked two stints for Maloy. “She wants it to be the best way.”
For all that Maloy has done to improve the tax collector’s office, leading an upstanding life and her volunteerism; she was an easy selection to be among seven individuals that the Bethel Empowerment Foundation will honor at this year’s Community Celebration Banquet. The event takes place Sept. 7 at the Leon County Civic Center.
Maloy was just 3 years old when she began to make an impression on others. Her mother, Aldorsie Harris recalled how she wowed an audience with her articulation while giving a Christmas speech as a child.
“When she did it, people were giving a standing ovation,” Harris said. “They just didn’t understand how she could speak like that and she was very small.”
By the time Maloy was a senior at FAMU, her sense of independence was obvious. That was enough for Harris not to worry about her daughter when she took her first trip to New York City for an internship with Arthur Anderson.
“I always knew she could handle herself,” Harris said. “She wasn’t a person that would give in to people.”
After graduating from FAMU, Maloy started a family. She raised her son Jarrett and daughter Erin, while holding down her a fulltime job.
She found time to volunteer, too. It became a juggling act that Maloy somehow managed to master. Among the many organizations that she volunteers with, she is chairperson for Ready For Work, a reentry program for ex-felons.
“I never want to overextend myself,” said Maloy. “There has to be this balance between family and work. I always keep that balance.”
When Maloy’s current term as tax collector expires in 3 ½ years, she could be only the second longest serving tax collector, second to W. Kenneth Collins who held the position for 32 years. Through her first 17 years in office, Maloy has established a reputation for making the office one that emphasizes customer satisfaction.
In addition to property taxes and issuing driver’s license and titles for the state, her office also handles hunting license for the Wildlife and Conservation Commission. The handling of birth certificates for the Department of Health along with issuing conceal weapons licenses permit recently became Maloy’s responsibility.
By her last count the office has collected $400 million in taxes and fees. From that, she runs the office on $7.5 million.
As much as Maloy pushes for consistency and efficiency from her staff, she refuses to micromanage. She is known for being hands-on, yet giving her staff a lot of leeway.
“I tell them don’t be afraid to do your job,” she said. “If you are doing your job and a mistake occurs, we can always fix that; just make sure you follow procedure.”
Every day brings a different set of challenge that Maloy obviously embraces.
“It’s never a dull moment,” she said. “Even with routine things you introduce new ways to do something. Be innovative in terms of how you approach it.”