High-dollar paychecks at Enterprise Florida await fresh scrutiny
Enterprise Florida exists for one main reason: to create jobs. But the 20-year-old public-private partnership now must eliminate some of its own jobs on orders from Gov. Rick Scott, following the Legislature's refusal to support a new $250 million incentive program to attract employers.
The jobs governor is now the job eliminator at Enterprise Florida. Scott issued an edict last week calling for $6 million in savings by cutting jobs and ending expensive office leases. He handed this unwelcome assignment to former state child welfare secretary David Wilkins, who will work with the agency's departing chief executive officer, Bill Johnson.
Their reorganization is expected to be voted on at EFI's next board meeting on May 10 and 11 in Naples.
"We have to make the hard decisions now to do more with less, and privatize many functions at Enterprise Florida so we are not dependent on state financing," Scott said in a letter to EFI board members.
Enterprise Florida has about 90 employees and a payroll of more than $9 million, the governor's office said.
A salary roster shows 10 employees, including five senior vice presidents, who make a minimum of $130,000 a year and can earn up to $215,000 a year. Another 15 staffers, all vice presidents, earn from $80,000 to $120,000 a year.
Enterprise Florida has a senior vice president for marketing, vice president for marketing, director of marketing and marketing coordinator. It has in-state regional directors in Tampa, Jacksonville and Pensacola. It has a senior vice president for government affairs and a director of government affairs.
Here's the list Enterprise Florida provided to the Times/Herald of employees and their salary ranges, as of March 14. Not listed here is Johnson, whose most recently reported salary was $265,000 a year, or about twice as much as the salary of the governor (Scott does not accept a state salary as governor).