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Transcript of ASK THE GOVERNOR 1
As taped for radio release the week of
January 8, 1962
It's time to "Ask the Governor," when Governor Farris
Bryant answers questions based on letters and comments from Floridats
Governor, publicity over the Merit System has been
considerable of late. How do you regard this agency of the
GCVERNOR: The Merit System has a very useful function it
can perform. If properly operated, it certainly can give to employee
a sense of security to which they are entitled. It insures that they
will not be subject to political whims or fortunes over which they
have no control. On the other hand, it must not be utilized as a
refuge for the incompetent. It must not be so utilized as to thwart
the will of the people as expressed in their election of officials
committed to carry out their mandates. I think it was for these
reasons that the Legislature very wisely provided that the law should
be amended to exempt from the Merit System those positions which
are policy making in nature. These are the higher echelons of
employment. These are the jobs that the elected official must control
if he is going to see the policies that have been approved by the
people in his election carried out,
Q. Governor, do you think that the Merit System should be
extended to the state agencies that are not now under it?
GOVERNOR: I would be a little bit presumptious to say so.
Obviously, if it is good for the agencies under the Governor, it's
good for all agencies. But as it is now established, none of these
agencies, other than those under the Governor, can be brought under
unless the officials in charge of those agencies decide to bbing them
under the operation of the Merit System, I do think there is a little
bit of inconsistency written into the law, of course, in having
Cabinet officials who do not wish to have their own ageuci.es
administered under the Merit System have a hand in administering the
agencies under the Governor's office.
Qa Governor, what do you expect from an employee of the
State of Florida?
GOVERNOR: I think I expect a little bit more than a private
employer. I expect of him first of all loyalty to the State of
Florida. A state employee has a trust, which is peculiar to his
employment. His employer cannot look over his shoulder. His
employer cannot assess the balance sheet the way that a private
employer could do. He cannot subject him to the efficiency ratings,
and so forth, as can be done by the private employer. So a public
employee must be a person who is willing to dedicate himself,
regardless of time and regardless of convenience, to carrying out
the service functions which is the only reason for the existence of
the state government.
Q. Taking it from the other approach, what do you think an
employee should look for in the way of relationship with the state
agencies that sometime tend to be impersonal?
GOVERNOR: He can look for his compensation. He can look
for security, so long as he does his job. He can look for retirement
in a system which is insured by the taxing power of the State of
Florida. He can look for the satisfaction of knowing that he is
having a part in major happenings of his time.
Thank you, sir. If you have a question you would like
Governor Bryant to answer on this program, jot it down on a post card
and send it to "Ask the Governor," Governor's Office, Tallahassee,
or in care of this station, which has made available this time in
the public interest.
Be with us next week when again we "Ask the Governor."