Appropriate on this Halloween. After attempting to gut his State's Tourism Promotion Agency last session, Florida Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran is back with proposed legislation targeting his State's local Destination Marketing Organizations. Among a number of new restrictions he hopes will strangle DMOs' ability to maneuver to acquire business for their communities, one stands out as a real head-scratcher.
Employees of local DMOs would be barred from earning more than the sitting Governor ($130,000). Which really isn't that much of a head-scratcher...because the Speaker knows that most of his base doesn't earn six figures. Thus, he'll get an aggrieved "hell yeah" from most of those for whom is his playing the envy card.
But, here's the deal. It's basic supply and demand. Anybody can run for public office and win (obviously). Not just anybody has the experience and talent to successfully market a destination. And, the ones who can often command significantly more than $130,000 on the open market. Thus, under this proposal, the best and the brightest Destination Marketers will depart Florida for States that value their talent and ability to draw visitors and their dollars.
Oh, tying Destination Marketing salaries to that of the Governor sounds good on the surface to Joe and Jill Public. But, that the Speaker is once again putting at peril his State's visitor economy in a desperate attempt to look good to the electorate is nauseating.