Gov. Scott offers a personalized welcome to state

May 17th, 2011 by Staff – It’s peanuts compared with the record-breaking $73 million that Gov. Rick Scott spent of his own fortune last year winning his first public office.

It’s an even smaller portion of a $70-billion state budget.

But the $8,800 that the state just spent splashing Scott’s name beneath 35 “Welcome to Florida” signs could be another first — the first time in recent memory a governor has accepted the honor offered to all new Florida chief executives.

Governors in Alabama and Georgia haven’t been shy about using their own highway welcome signs to tout their positions and names. Department of Transportation officials couldn’t remember the last Florida governor to take advantage.

“We don’t keep records on this; this is just part of our normal protocol,” said Florida Department of Transportation spokesman Dick Kane.

The signs are posted at various border crossings into the state, including the major entry points of Interstate 10 and U.S. 231 east from Alabama and U.S. 319, I-75 and I-95 south from Georgia.

DOT figures suggest it would be a shrewd move for any politician to put his name in front of so many eyeballs, even if they are traveling at 75 mph. About 70,000 vehicles a day cross into Florida from the four major entrance points. Another 5,186 pour south from Georgia on U.S. 319 into Leon County on an average Tuesday in May, according to department counters.

A spokesman said Scott was merely keeping his campaign promise to be the state’s chief economic development officer.

“Gov. Scott has taken a very active role in marketing the great state of Florida,” wrote spokesman Lane Wright. “The subpanels below DOT’s welcome to Florida signs are just one inexpensive way to show those traveling into the state his commitment to making Florida the best place to visit, live and grow a business.”

2 Responses

  1. Dave

    Somebody should steal those signs.

  2. Laurie

    He’s all for cut backs… bshiz..How much did that cost the people of florida. I’m suprised he didn’t have it lit up. What a ego , jerk.

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