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Scott office directs all agencies not to use state money to keep federal programs afloat

In response to the prolonged federal shutdown, Gov. Rick Scott’s chief of staff on Thursday ordered that no state funds will be used to offset any federal programs that run out of cash as a result of the federal inaction.

In a draft letter, directed to the governor’s agencies, chief of staff Adam Hollingsworth said that absent a federal resolution to the shutdown, “it is important that we ensure that state funds are not committed as a temporary backfill to federal programs as a matter of course.”

Hollingsworth did not address what might happen to the programs that will not meet payroll next week -- from school districts to vocational services for the blind -- if the shutdown continues, according to state records. 

His two-page memo said that "no accounting measures (journal transfers) or budget actions (budget amendments) are taken to temporarily support unavailable federal funds through the use of state funds." Any attempt to do so would require approved of the governor's office, he said, in consultation with the Florida Legislature.

For his part, Scott would not answer reporters’ questions about what impact the shutdown is having on the state but directed blame for the gridlock in Washington to President Barack Obama.

“The buck always stops with the president,’’ Scott said in an interview with the Herald/Times. “We need more leadership and we need more negotiation in Washington DC. I expect our leaders to resolve their differences. They need to get this fixed."

The Scott's hard-line directive indicates that the governor has rejected the approach adopted by governors of other high volume tourists states. The federal government said Thursday it will allow states to use their own money to reopen some national parks during the shutdown, and governors in Utah, South Dakota, Arizona and Colorado have suggested they will do that. Story and documents here.

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And they still lost Jax City, like Florida next

We've seen no leadership in the area of making sacrifices from Peyton.� While the mayor has asked all department heads to make cutbacks (eliminate jobs and/or reduce salaries), no such actions have been forced upon the the department heads themselves or the "key people" of the mayor's administration.� "Key people" would include the mayor himself, his "spokesperson" Susie Wiles, "chief of policy" Adam Hollingsworth, and quite a few others.�

Yes, there was Parks Director John Culbreth, but he was an outsider from Fulton County, Georgia - located very far outside of the Good Old Boy network.� So, the GOB network remains very intact. �

Does this sound right to you?� Revisiting the Brad Thoburn scandal.

As we talk about these times of tightening purse strings, let us turn our attention to a related, more specific, situation.� You may remember the appointment (some call it an anointment) of Brad Thoburn as Planning Director of the city.� You'll recall that Brad had a degree in political science and a ton of political experience (his supporters loved to brag of his work under Tillie Fowler), but really almost zero planning experience and absolutely no planning education.� Those were the negatives.� But what Brad had going for him were:

1) A tight relationship with the mayor.
2) A vigorous Good Ole Boy network in a truly southern city.

Thus it came about that the mayor and the obligatory City Council of Jacksonville installed Thoburn as the Planning Director.� And as we turn our attention back to monetary matters, we ask what kind of raise did Thoburn receive? �

Well, prior to his lofty promotion, Thoburn was making $96,000 - a decent living by any working man's standards.� A recent, surprisingly difficult (it took 5 days to get the accurate figures) public records request from Susie Wiles revealed Thoburn's new salary as $115,000 - a whopping 20% increase!� Here's to the "uniquely qualified" wonder boy!

What lesson have we learned from the Brad Thoburn anointment? If you are thinking about pursuing a career in urban planning, keep the following in mind:

A UNF bachelors degree in Urban Planning? $20,000

Ten years of planning experience? 20,800 hours of labor

Being plugged into the Jacksonville GOB network?� Priceless.

From Metro Jacsonville Opinion

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