Bruce Ritchie writes in today’s Florida Current that,
“DEP wants to award $571,961 in bonuses to 269 regulatory employees based on criteria including faster permit processing and feedback from customers including permit applicants.
Rep. Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach and member of the Legislative Budget Commission, says he's concerned that the bonus will reward faster permit approval at the expense of environmental protection.”
"I don't have any problem with people getting bonuses, especially state employees," Pafford said. "The question is, are some of those dollars going to be used to lessen the time required for reviewing applications? And will it limit the scope of a thorough examination of those applications for projects?"
Pafford, is also the ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee.
Doug Martin, legislative director and spokesman for the state employees union, said it more accurately,
"I’ve never heard of bonuses being given for not enforcing the law and being paid out of funds from employees who were dismissed for doing their jobs."
And, what’s worse, the toxic, anti-environment senator from Eustis, Alan Hayes, who has introduced some of the most damaging bills in the history of the legislature, is defending the idiocy. Given his record and galactic ignorance of environmental management technology, unfortunately, no one will be surprised.
But, this is just another ignorant management decision by CEO Scott and his boys, DEP secretary Herschel Vinyard and DEP minion Jeff Littlejohn, who should know better. Is there no end to their ignorance of common public agency management practices?
As a career manager and agency head, I have never heard of providing raises just for issuing regulatory permits in fewer days than the law allows. Regulatory staff must follow the law. They are required to follow very strict legal guidelines that, frankly, may not be very efficient, but they are the law. Most inefficiencies result from having to accommodate all the varied public interests involved in issuing a permit, including those who will be negatively impacted by the permit if granted. Every legitimate interest must be heard and considered.
Rewards or bonuses can and should be given to an employee who finds or develops a procedure that will make the process more efficient but such proposals should be carefully reviewed before implementation to insure they will not inadvertently weaken the agency’s obligations under the law. Only then, should they be made part of the process.
Vinyard and Littlejohn apparently want to reward individual staff members for taking short cuts. This will encourage regulatory hot-dogging, unauthorized rogue decisions by individuals, which would be a blatant subversion and perversion of public interest.
CEO Scott should fire the boys at DEP for incompetence and Hayes should be removed from elected office immediately for being virtually devoid of good sense. Then CEO Scott should donate all that reelection money he’s raising, projected to eventually exceed $100 million, to raises for all state employees and conservation land acquisition, and go back to the private sector where defrauding the federal government and public taxpayers of Medicaid and Medicare funds seems to be a very lucrative common practice.
The whole thing smells to high heaven but if you want to read the entire disgusting story anyway, Tap HERE.