Finding moral courage to make the cuts

According to St Johns County Human Resources, as of May 7, there are 1187 people on the county payroll, excluding employees of the five constitutional officers; and, of those reported, 349 earn $45,000, plus benefits, per year — or more.

Payroll records indicate that 88 employees are earning as much, or more, than the statutory maximum for elected county commissioners ($65,703).

If news stories continue to focus on government employees who are overpaid and perform redundant functions, and we elect officials with the moral courage to eliminate them from their positions, the savings will provide the means to offer relief to those employees who are currently underpaid.

The county commissioners, of course, do not set the salaries of county employees — the County Administrator does. However, the Board of County Commissioners alone hires and sets the pay of the County Administrator and County Attorney.

Not only do we employ the highest paid administrator in the history of the county, he employs two Assistant County Administrators — who each earn more than $100,000 plus benefits per year.

Perhaps worse is the fact that we employee a County Attorney who is paid more money than the Florida Attorney General — more than any county or circuit court judge, or judge on the District Court of Appeals. The county attorney hires, not two, but three assistant county attorneys.

Just for comparison, we pay the justices on the Supreme Court of Florida $ 157,976 — and the St Johns County Attorney only $1400 less.

McCormack, Patrick Francis County Attorney 156,558.17
Migut, David M Asst County Attorney 86,118.70
Ross, Regina Dione Asst County Attorney 81,149.22
Moore, Erica Denise Asst County Attorney 70,647.33

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