On January 18, 2015 at 07:38PM, Tom at Watery Foundation published the following article:
Every year, the Florida Department of Management Services publishes a “Workforce Report.” Last week’s annual report received only a little press coverage. As for a number of years, Florida remains dead last in both state employees per capita and in the cost of state personnel. In fact state government positions have even declined by 10 percent in the last five years.
Would you be pleased to learn that your child’s school has the highest student–teacher ratio? Would you think that having the smallest number of police officers per resident is a good measure of local government success? Would you feel pretty good if you went to a hospital and learned that it had the lowest number of doctors and nurses per patient? Of course not, but that is how many state politicians think. The majority political position seems always to be to cut the number of workers assigned to address Florida problems. That has been the case for the regional water management districts (which are not state workers). It also is true for the state Department of Environmental Protection. That agency has 16.7% fewer workers today than in 2010 (Workforce Report, p. 21.) while population has gone up by 9%.
Environmental protection is inherently labor-intensive. You can’t inspect a lake or river or wetland or spring without going out to look at it. You can’t review a permitted facility for violations without walking around it. You can’t assess the validity of a permit compliance report without experienced staff on board that are allowed adequate time for the review.
Less staff means less protection of Florida water resources.