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My fiscal watchdog blog focus is local Lake County, FL government fiscal management covering the Lake County Board & Government; the Lake County School District Board and administration; the North Lake County Hospital District; the Lake County Water Authority; various CRA's (Community Redevelopment Agencies) and some city councils like Tavares, Mt. Dora, Eustis & Clermont.

A fiscal watchdog is needed in Lake County because the two local newspapers and local Orlando papers barely cover local government in Lake County. Because Florida has no income tax, local governments use property taxes to fund many services, thus if the elected officials increase property tax millage rates, or get more revenue from increased property valuations or growth, there is not much visibility.

I also video many local governments and political meetings which can be seen on our YouTube channel, "FiscalRangersFlorida". at

- The Lake County government, which has a budget of $400+million and around 1,887 employees (including Constitutional Offices who spend over half the budget and do not provide detailed budgets or ever request performance audits). The Board's operations do NOT currently have a professional Controller. They rely on the separate County Court Clerk for accounting services, which does NOT include cost or performance accounting or tracking of performance metrics.

- The Lake County, Florida School District in Florida (LCSD) which has 5,000 employees and is the largest employer in Lake County. They have $400+million in net assets, a budget of $500+million, including $160-million for capital outlays (school construction, etc.).

- The North Lake County Hospital District, collects a 1 mill tax on all residential & commercial property in North Lake County, which is listed on your property tax bill. The District Board automatically distributes the $10-million or more in tax funds to two Lake County major hospitals and several clinics to pay for indigent patient costs. Reform legislation was passed by many taxpayers in 2012 to improve accountability, and provide compliance audits.

- The Lake County Water Authority (LCWA) in 2019 doubled their millage rate to almost 1-mill to pay for Hydrilla treatments and other services.

About the author, Vance Jochim

I am now retired and live in Lake County, FL, having moved from liberal California in 2005. I earlier spent two years in Baghdad, Iraq (2004 to 2006) helping set up an Iraqi anti-corruption agency. I also have 18 years corporate internal audit experience, an MBA and held professional certifications (now inactive) in internal audit ( Certified Internal Auditor) , fraud prevention (Certified Fraud Examiner) and computer auditing ( Certified Information Systems Auditor - CISA -inactive). I have worked as corporate audit manager or director in large organizations including ARCO (now part of BP - the oil company), Nissan Motor Corp., and a software firm and a concrete products manufacturing company with 40 plants. I also was a senior internal auditor at the County of Los Angeles for five years. My specialty was operational auditing - conducting audits to improve organization efficiency, economy and effectiveness. I have audited or directed audits of construction contracts up to $400-million, marketing incentive programs up to $600-million and treasury operations of $16-billion. You can see examples of my work at:

I also published a blog on Corruption in Iraq and the World until 2011, which is based upon my exposure to international anti-corruption efforts while in Iraq. It is still at:

This blog can be reached directly at:

Interests is a watchdog blog on local Lake County, FL government agencies. This blog was started in 2006. My blog interests are fiscal & business controls in local government agencies and anti-corruption efforts in countries. Until 2011, I wrote another blog on worldwide anti-corruption programs, especially regarding Iraq, which is here: You can see pictures from my 2004-2006 visit to Iraq as an anti-corruption adviser here: I am listed on LinkedIn for more details.