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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Pay for the next leader of Florida’s business-recruitment agency might be scaled back from the salary of the recently departed president.

The Enterprise Florida President & CEO Search Committee, hoping to have a finalist go before the agency’s full board next month, agreed Thursday to advertise for the top position at an annual salary between $175,000 and $200,000.

The suggested pay is down from the $265,000 a year that former President & CEO Bill Johnson received. Johnson also received a $50,000 bonus last year, half of what he could have earned.

No bonus is mentioned in the job description, which is on the Enterprise Florida website and calls for applicants to have “entrepreneurial” and “relationship building” skills.

Enterprise Florida Vice Chairman Alan Becker said he’d like the salary range to be considered “flexible,” depending on the quality of the potential finalists.

“I’m a little concerned that even many of our local (economic development organizations) pay a good deal more than that,” Becker said. “If you take a look at who are the highest paid people in state government, it’s probably a little bit over that.”

Committee Chairman Stan Connally, president and CEO of Gulf Power, said the pay could be revisited, but he’d prefer to maintain the $175,000 to $200,000 range.

“I’m sure we’ll get some quality ones in this range,” Connally said. “If we get concerned that we’re missing what we need for the role, maybe we can revisit that. But for now, I think we need to test the market and see what is out there.”

Committee member Carol Craig of Cape Canaveral-based Craig Technologies suggested the job placement ad should have stronger language about applicants’ experience working with a state legislature.

“That’s like a real big deal, especially everything that has gone on in the past here,” Craig said.

Johnson, who started with the public-private agency in early 2015, stepped down after lawmakers declined this year to go along with Gov. Rick Scott’s request to provide $250 million to Enterprise Florida for corporate recruitment.

Scott also called for a review of the agency that resulted in slashing about one-third of the staff to help trim expenses by $6 million.

Enterprise Florida, funded through public and private money, is getting $23.7 million as part of the $82 billion state budget that went into effect on July 1.

The committee will review resumes the week of Sept. 12, Connally said.

The next board meeting is scheduled for Sept. 28 and Sept. 29 in Orlando.

The News Service of Florida’s Jim Turner contributed to this report.

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