Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Anonymous insider's report on what's happening at DEP, Tallahassee

This post provides an anonymous, insider’s look at what’s happening at the DEP headquarters in Tallahassee.  What’s taking place and how it is happening is pathetic.  There are so many more professional and humane ways to carry out a reduction in force than the vicious, unthinking Neanderthal tactics of this administration.  It is a dreadful reflection of their lack of management experience and sole focus on getting rid of institutional memory, dedicated and seasoned staffers and professional competence in favor of friends, politics and cementing their control of a public agency through fear and intimidation.
Typically, such anonymous comments are appended to the post to which they refer but this comment seemed more insightful and relevant than usual and so I am taking the liberty of publishing it as an actual post.  The unknown writer was obviously present when the events he/she describes took place and wants you, the reader, to know about it.  Here it is:
How the firings occurred in the Tallahassee HQ office is also a matter of discussion. The entire division of Water Resource Management was called into a meeting by the deputy Secretary, who gave a Powerpoint presentation of the "reorganization". During the presentation, firing numbers for the individual sections were given out, and the drinking water administrator - who had two more years left in DROP - was told he was removed in front of the whole division. One fired employee was involved at the time in the Emergency Operations Center for Hurricane Sandy, and was no longer able to access his computer for important emergency operations, since the mindless Nazis locked him out. The Drinking Water Administrator was replaced by a recent hiree of his from the private sector, who managed to cozy up the Deputy Secretary. The hatchet person was another hiree from the private sector only about three months earlier. It is clear the original people who worked for less pay than their private sector counterparts for years because they cared for Florida's degrading environment were replaced, including Secretary Mimi Drew when Scott assumed the throne, for his and his cronies selfish interests.
Like I said … pathetic.  
How long and how deep is this unmitigated effort to destroy responsible environmental management in the State of Florida going to be allowed to continue? 
Where is the outrage of our elected officials? Among all the people they are charged to represent, public service employees should not be excluded. 
Someone needs to step up and start asking pointed questions like: How is this kind of behavior going to improve the efficiency of the organization? Have they gone too far for some very wrong purposes? Is Florida's natural environment, and thus its economy, being placed at risk by the systematic destruction of the agency’s ability to carry out its duties as prescribed by law? Is this what the voting public of Florida truly wants and expects?


  1. Floridians need to decide if we want a fascist state. If so, we're right on track.

  2. Who's worst, the elected officials (both local and state)and appointed board members of these agencies that are right in goose step with the Governor or the elected and appointed board members that sit by submissively while these actions are played out. Maybe there aren't as many political and appointed people that disagree with what's going that I would like to think. That's the hard pill for me to swallow, but it looks more and more like that is the reality. How many Mike Fasano and Nancy Argensiano's are there out there? They get crushed by the extremists. Balanced people no longer appear to have a means to rise to leadership roles. I fear the only solution will be we will have to hit rock bottom. Like an addicted person, they often only can make the change once things get so bad change must come. It's bad but getting worse. How far will it go before the people speak out. It's the perfect storm. People, other than those directly effected, are so consumed by economic weight we're all under that they can't focus on these kinds of things. Don't think those doing this aren't aware of this. I for one am counting down the next 2 years until we have a chance to vote this guy (and in reality all the extreme right wing contributers who control him) out of office. Time to start looking for another state to spend my remaining years, cause as the old saying goes, love it or leave it! Hard to love it.

  3. Having worked for DEP and still working for _______, I can appreciate your website. I found out about it after the Highlands Ranch/Connie Bersok brouhaha. I have known Connie for many years and have the upmost respect for her. Her expertise and ethical standards are as good as they get. I am glad she made it through (so far). As one of my coworkers ... recently said, “This is no longer my company anymore”. A lot of people think that but want to stay employed and say nothing. Politics has trumped doing the right thing. In some cases, managers will not provide direction to staff in fear of being held accountable. Heaven forbid should someone complain to Tally. I will finish up my regulatory career in a few weeks. I feel fortunate to have made it this far, but feel bad for my ... coworkers that will remain under the current clouds of uncertainty. Thanks for telling it like it is.

  4. Folks might be interested to know about new proposed legislation that is emerging from North Florida, "The Floridan Aquifer System Sustainability Act of 2013." You can read the latest version of that document here:

  5. Is this reorganization an effort to decrease spending? It seems like this kind of treatment in the professional sector would not even be legal, like they should be given notice to find another job or something. These new people they are bringing in- does anyone know what type of agenda they have?
    Taylor Beardsley

  6. The atmosphere isn't as repressive as the DEP at ??WMD but as a geoscientist I'm under constant, implicit threat. People just disappear. You never know why they were fired, only that part of their job is now your job.