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Dennis Joyce

Joyce joined The Tampa Tribune as senior editor for metro in 2005 and later helped launch TBO.com’s continuous news desk. He has worked as an editor and reporter in Arizona, Kentucky, Virginia, Idaho and Stuart, Fla. Email


Jeff Scullin

Scullin has worked for The Tampa Tribune since 2005, directing news coverage in Pasco County and serving as the paper’s Sunday editor. He has worked as an editor and reporter in Lakeland, Sarasota, North Carolina and California. Email


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Letters to the editor: Not automatic

Swiftmud’s Top 10, and whether to post salaries at all

Posted Jul 10, 2009 by Dennis Joyce

Updated Jul 10, 2009 at 11:39 AM

Swiftmud salaries two


The Southwest Florida Water Management District is the latest government agency added to our database, “Who’s On Your Payroll?”

You’ll find the Top 10 highest-paid employees above, from a list of 828 people the district provided us in response to a public records request.

Swiftmud, as it’s known, takes in all or part of 16 counties and is one of five regional agencies directed to protect and preserve Florida’s water resources.

Here are some more facts about the payroll:

- Thirty-six people make $100,000 or more and the median pay is about $48,000.

- The most common job titles are engineer, administrative assistant, regulation processing specialist, environmental scientist, field technician, manager, student intern, tradesworker and chemist.

- The vast majority of employees, 526, are based in Brooksville, headquarters of the district, followed by 168 in Tampa; 68 in Sarasota, 65 in Bartow and one in Lecanto.

- Grady Vance, an aquatic plant management supervisor, started work there 40 years ago in 1969. Another 28 employees were hired in the 1970s.

Swiftmud has been in the news a lot lately. There’s the ongoing drought, which prompted the agency to impose the toughest water restrictions in the state, and the changes Florida lawmakers made this spring giving Swiftmud’s top dog David L. Moore added power to issue water permits directly.

That may explain why people e-mailed us asking about the salaries of these public employees. We also heard from readers after we finally obtained and published the Swiftmud salaries last week, as we often do when new government salaries are posted.

Jackie Robbins, who works for Swiftmud, e-mailed me to say, “This is rude, even though we are employed by public entities, we are still people that work for a living and value personal information. I don’t see your salary posted.”

Eric Reiss said in an e-mail, “I am so excited about this link. I realize it won’t remain on your website for ever is there any way I can get the exact web address to enter into MY FAVORITE PLACES?”

Tell us your thoughts about “Who’s On Your Payroll?” by adding a comment below, which requires quick and easy registration, or by e-mailing us .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).