Qualifications: Know the governor and how to spell “Tea-Party” very loudly.
Here's your chance to be the CEO of one of the most important agencies in Florida government today, though maybe not so much tomorrow.
You’ll have the honor of serving at the pleasure of 13 governing board members, the governor of the great State of Florida and every Senator of the Florida Senate, who can hold up your confirmation or threaten you personally in ways that can render you no less potent than if you'd just suffered botched prostate surgery. As such, you get to play tit for tat chess with any member of that auspicious group who will endlessly attempt to proffer their political ambitions at your personal and professional expense.
You'll get to wrestle with a rapidly shrinking $200,000,000 budget and staff of over 800 employees, all for a salary that bespeaks your deep personal concern for the Florida taxpayer and which Sir Scott will not allow to be over, my guess, of about $150,000. (which works out, given it's a 24-7 job, to about one fourth of what a good mechanic gets or $17.12 per hour.).
In exchange for this largess, you will have the responsibility:
1) To assure Florida's remaining fragile natural systems will be protected despite the onslaught of a newly unfettered economy that will be fueled by a much-hoped-for renewal of unrestrained rampant growth,
2) To assure virtually everyone will have ample supplies of drinking, irrigation, cooling, and mining water, and protect the God-given right of all persons, corporate and private, to use as much water as might be left in the state’s rivers, lakes, aquifers, springs or mildly wet wetlands,
3) To assure any concern for protecting water from polluted runoff, sewage waste, or chemical discharges is rendered moot by the loss of funds necessary to hire competent scientists and lawyers, all in the name of promoting businesses and jobs,
4) To assure that water supply projects are funded and constructed in partnership with politically paralyzed local governments in time to keep their residents from pumping groundwater until salt intrudes, or diverting surface water in ways that would otherwise destroy the very aquifers, lakes, rivers and wetlands from which they get it,
5) To assure that the hundreds of thousands of environmentally sensitive acres purchased at the direction of Florida voters is properly maintained and protected while also assuring that the public has complete access to use the land for any purpose they chose including killing wild animals for bush meat, all while there is no money from the legislature to do what it has told you to do,
6) To assure that when the hurricane’s come, you’ll have the pleasure of personally accompanying your hard working, underpaid field workers as they risk their lives to protect the homes and safety of people they’ve never met and who never should have built where they did in the first place but did anyway because they resent government interference in their libertarian lives,
7) To assure that the ad valorem tax you levy is a way for the same people who authorize and pay the tax to also be the ones to benefit from it, despite the fact that the governing board, the governor and the Florida Senate are all, it appears, trying to wrestle control of those taxes away from you so it can be spent by the minions of T-Town for whatever purposes they wish, such as having the 15 other counties in SWFWMD pay for a $200,000,000 pipeline in Polk County that will assure water for the largest landowner(s) there,
etc., etc., etc.
I would take the job. I’m certainly qualified for it. I managed the Quality Shop in downtown Brooksville selling men’s socks and ties for Zeke Rogers after Hunk Coogler quit and went to work for Lingles Department Store, I have hoed around orange trees for Bill Gregg at Cross Bar Ranch, I have worked for Jimmy Joe Barrett’s Root Crew picking up palmetto roots, I even learned to fly a helicopter at one time and shook Governor Bob Martinez’ hand at least twice. More importantly, however, I worked for Representative John Law Ayers for a semester while attending FSU one year in 1962 filing copies of defeated bills. I am more than well qualified.
But, I’m not sure how to spell … is it, “Tea-Pharty”? So I’m automatically out of the running, I would guess.
Which I’m cool with because I would rather have a job that pays more ... like being president of a community college. Now that’s where the money is. Take Gwen Stevenson of Hillsborough Community College for example. She made $381,295 before recently retiring. Her salary, like others of the same ilk, included perks such as a $8,500 car allowance, a $25,000 housing allowance, $70,000 in deferred compensation, AND (!) $31,660 retirement pay and “club dues” … whatever that is.
Yes, and they should earn so much more than water management ED's because … well they’re in e-d-u-c-a-t-i-o-n.
Here’s what some other community college presidents were paid during 2008-9 according to “The Chronicle of Higher Education”.
Other (def. Comp., ret., bonuses)
Jax Comm Coll.
Miami Dade Coll.
Palm Bch. Comm. Coll.
Car Provided $ unk.
St. Pete Coll.
Valencia Comm. Coll.
The downside of my quest to become a community college president, however, is that without a Ph.D. in Education, one needs to be a termed-out State Senator or Speaker of the House with at least a driver’s license and a Notary Public certificate. Count me out.
Here’s the official notice from SWFWMD offering the job to interested applicants. I wish the district all of any luck remaining in the unemployed workforce toward finding a competent, honest person with the hide of a rhinoceros and ethics at least a couple notches above the Madoff mentality that so prevalent in T-Town these days.
Oh, and Good luck!