1. Florida Politics

Romano: Hey Gov. Scott, could you hire me, too?

With the days winding down on the governor's final term, Rick Scott's administration has been hiring loyal Scott employees for state government positions they are not necessarily qualified to hold. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)
Published May 14, 2018

To: The Honorable Gov. Rick Scott

Dear Governor,

It has come to my attention that your administration has recently made some, dare I say, innovative hires for important government positions in the months before you leave office.

At the risk of sounding obsequious:

Bravo, sir!

At a time when recent college graduates are struggling to find entry-level positions in the corporate world, you have brazenly forged an exciting path by hiring these newbies as high-paid executives.

This is sheer genius.

For far too long, certain private industries have capitalized, and monopolized, on this "No Experience Necessary'' style of hiring.

Why should car washes and lawn services get all the best unqualified workers? Why not give them managerial positions at the Office of Property Tax Oversight or the Division of Emergency Management?

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Rick Scott loyalists are finding new state government jobs

I know, after the Times/Herald bureau first reported this, critics have suggested you are rewarding people who have helped your past campaigns by handing them cushy jobs at the expense of taxpayers.

If I may be so bold, those critics have no imagination.

They cannot see the value, for instance, of putting a 24-year-old in charge of reviewing and approving the budgets for all the county property appraisers and tax collectors around the state.

Surely, all those experts will appreciate having someone with virtually no professional experience or expertise looking over their shoulders on budget decisions.

I mean, a little uninformed second guessing never hurt anyone, right?

Clearly, your strategy is already working. It's created such fierce competition among undeserving applicants that you're apparently having to overpay for their inferior resumes.

Just the other day, I saw you hired another former loyalist to teach emergency management classes even though he's never before worked in emergency management.

But he was such a good hire, Politico says you're paying him $83,200 even though the state's established range for the job started as low as $28,093 for just that kind of inexperienced employee.

Quite shrewd, sir.

Sort of like ignoring some stodgy state law that requires a position be held by an attorney, and just hiring a friend of a friend without a law degree in the Property Tax Oversight office.

Think of what could be accomplished if the rest of the state followed your administration's guidelines. If we started ignoring qualification requirements for cops and teachers and health workers, it would make human resource managers practically obsolete.

Which brings me to the point of this correspondence.

I see there is an opening for the director of habitat & species conservation available in Tallahassee. I've worked inside an office for 35 years, and don't own a tent or a fishing pole. My degree is in an unrelated field and my idea of an outdoors adventure is going to an amphitheater for a concert.

From what I can tell, and excuse me if this sounds forward, I think I'm just the type of unworthy applicant you might be interested in.

Naturally, I wouldn't expect the posted salary of $110,000.

I would think something in the $120,000 range would be more appropriate for a man of my limited experience.

Let's get to work, indeed.


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