Update: How Brenda Snipes Double Dips







Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes is a prime example of double dipping in the public trough.

Snipes is earning $4,336 monthly in state pension benefits from her time in the Broward school system. She also gets over $12,000-a-month from her job as supervisor, according to state records.

That’s roughly $200,000 annually…increasing every year.

Her salary was questioned in e-mail to Browardbeat.com after Sean Phillippi’s post on Monday.

Here is how Snipes ran up such a tidy salary:

She spent 30.4 years working for Broward Schools, ending her career in June 2003 as an area director. She was responsible for “leading principals at sixteen schools and center,” according to her official biography.

Prior to her retirement, Snipes entered DROP. That’s a state program placing money that would have gone to a pension into an account paid out in bulk upon retirement.

Snipes entered DROP in 1998 and cashed out in 2003. She received a payment of $193,330.

In November 2003, Snipes was appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush to replace Supervisor Miriam Oliphant, who he removed from office for incompetence.

So she gets a pension and her supervisor’s salary. Everything is on the up-and-up.

There are scores of public employees who retire and go right back to work for the same agency. They are either employed as “consultants” or right on the books as employees.  This practice has been especially blatant in the past in the school system.

So Snipes’ story is not unusual.  It is just expensive for taxpayers.



30 Responses to “Update: How Brenda Snipes Double Dips”

  1. Real Deal says:

    Nothing is wrong with the law. People that earn pensions should be allowed to collect them. What’s wrong is too few Americans have the opportunity to earn pensions anymore. We seem more concerned about the businesses than the people as if people are dispensable.

    Stupidly, most of us bought into the idea that pensions made no sense anymore. Yet if we look at the greatest yet dwindling generation, they had social security, pensions and savings. And they still struggle to make ends meet.

    We in the lesser generation are proceeding into retirement lashed to some fairy tale that it will somehow work out. We have only a vague possibility of social security, as that system is nearly shattered. We have much less savings than we need, most of it invested unreliably in markets that are steeped in instability and hidden fees or in banks that pay nearly no interest, and very few of us have pensions because we believed they were wasteful. Yet we expect retirement for us to somehow work out.

    What else could you call it but a fairy tale.

    Fewer and fewer Americans will be financially sound enough to retire which means very many of us will be forced to work until we die in an economy where there aren’t enough jobs to go around in the first place. How depressing.

    Worse, we will live much longer than the last group because we took better care of ourselves and medical science is more advanced. Sounds more like we’re sentenced to life as old people without enough money rather than having golden years to look forward to.

    If we want enough money someday to retire with dignity we had better smarten up stop and stop foolishly arguing about nonsense like who gets two pensions when they earn them legally and have every right to them.

    Instead we need to be talking about the problem of so many without proper retirement planning options.

    Absent that larger discussion these mindless and baseless complaints about the pensions of others sounds suspiciously jealous to me.

  2. Wayne Arnold says:

    Governor Bush selected Dr. Brenda Snipes to serve as Broward’s Supervisor of Elections on her merits as an outstanding educator. It was a wise choice. She assumed an office that was riddled with inefficiency and she worked hard and showed excellent leadership with her staff to correct the problems dogging the office. Yes, she gets a well deserved pension for over 30 years in the school system. And, now nearly three four year terms in the public office of one of Broward’s most demanding jobs. Some mistakes have been made but we can surely be proud of her overall record of achievement in the Supervisor Of Election’s office. And, yes she is entitled to the pensions that she has earned in her over forty years of service.

  3. Talks like a politician says:

    So this makes Snipes the example of why an appointed SOE is not necessarily a good idea. And now she is running again! Power and money= the profile of a perfect politician.


    Many employees of the Broward Sheriff’s Office are not only double dipping but triple dipping.

    It’s amazing how you can stay at home and be a consultant and bring in a nice salary beside your pension and deferred compensation and a previous pension.

  5. Please says:

    Dr Sipes has had two careers. She was an well respected principal and area director in the Broward County School system. Then, she had a second career as the supervisor of elections. How many among would refuse the full compensation package for work we had done? Why should she be penalized? Pay the woman.

  6. just sayin says:

    and this woman wants to run for office again? Really? She’s been ripping the taxpayers off for years and we will probably all put her back in office to continue doing it. It’s not like she runs a tight ship. There are always issues in Broward during elections.

  7. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    its called cash-in on the tax-payer(I cashed -in recently going up against this old washed mobster. Feels good huh Brenda($)). I think not only is she overpaid so is 1/2 her staff. I put in a PIO request a few years ago you should see what several of her staff makes(its shocking). Neferdidi(Snipes) here looks like party is over. Although she did work for the school dept. for over thirty years. Bottom line gov’t pays well. Still what she pays her staff is real story here. And a sfar as the county comm . takin over that dept. and not be an elected office holder is another bad idea…

  8. Anonymous says:

    If you check the Florida Retirement website at Myfrs.com, you will find “renewed membership in the FRS is not available for individuals who are initially re employed on or after July 1, 2010.” New legislation is not needed.


    Maybe not for pensions, but legislation is necessary to bail out all the existing governments under water. Either (future?) benefits will have to be shaved, contributions increase or both.

  9. FROM BUDDY says:

    Some of the comments above refer to an earlier version of this post.

  10. Kevin says:

    Howis it expensive to taxpayers? She earned her pension. She is getting a salary budgeted for the SOE. Good for her. Nshe seems to be doing a pretty good job.

  11. Commissioner Angelo Castillo says:

    Friends, Dr. Snipes deserves our respect for being a good public servant. She’s also been a good Supervisor of Elections who came into the job under very tough circumstances, turned the office around quickly, and has established confidence in what they do.

    If properly funded, Dr. Snipes could do much more to generate greater voter turnout throughout Broward County. Some have suggested that I am a critic of that office, not true. I root for their success every day and want to see them have the kind of community outreach program necessary to improve voter turnout, primarily through the absentee balloting process.

    Let’s get more people voting and make that a must-do goal.



  12. tell the truth says:

    Very smart these civil service employees that stayed put to get these sums. sure wish she would retire at ‘the top of her game’ so to speak and spend the retirement funds elsewhere.
    But if voters re-elect her then we have to pay her, deserved or not. worse, if more snafus and sc#*w-ups occur, there is no penalty. SOE is a constitutional officer. taxpayers, and voters, loose again.

  13. gotta be kiddin me says:

    How is this expensive for taxpayers? Really? What a dumb statement. YOU and I are PAYING her salary and pension. How about collecting your pension when you retire from working? She is still in the public sector and should not be double dipping on our dollars

  14. Ghost of McLovin says:

    I generally support you Buddy, but I don’t understand why you equate pensions with fiscal abuse. A pension is an agreement of employment between the employer and employee, a benefit. Often, an employee will earn less than its private-sector counterpart, understanding that a contribution to an interest earning account is being made for them. Both defined-benefit pensions and DROP programs are sound financial mechanisms, that actually benefit the taxpayers. Frankly, your misrepresentation of pensions and DROP are egregious, and journalistically reckless. The problem that MANY government pension plans have is not the employer, but the ELECTED officials that approve excessively generous pension benefits, primarily to Police and Fire employees, in exchange for support during elections from their unions. Pensions based on sound accounting principles, valid actuarial tables and solid data will always be a benefit to the public taxpayer, as the large number of retirees will be self-supporting, rather than a drain on society after retirement.

    I am no particular fan of Dr. Snipes, but the fact that she collected a DROP distribution is of little consequence. Not a single penny of tax money funded her DROP account. Her retirement distribution went into a (reasonable) interest bearing account. During her DROP period, the School Board of Broward County stops contributing to her pension, costing taxpayers LESS. Ms. Snipes’ pension, the Florida Retirement System (FRS) is not one of the overly generous pensions. It is generally well-funded, financially sound, and since 2010, every member (state, county, special tax districts and many municipal employees) must contribute half of the contribution to the pension.


  15. Andrew Ladanowski says:

    Common excuse poor leaders will say, if my office was properly funded. The issue is “She never acknowledge her mistakes.” In Nov 2012 some some precincts had no lines, others had lines for over 4 hours. Some precincts had 2 people in them, some had over 4000. No excuse! She had all the resources on election day she needed that day, she just didn’t distribute them properly, to prevent these long lines at some precincts. She couldn’t blame the software vendor, she couldn’t blame bad weather, she could only blame her bad management. In other elections she could cover up her poor allocation of resources due to lower turn out and shorter ballots, most of the poles are always over staffed with them pole workers standing around most of the day doing nothing. If we want more public participation in elections, Dr. Snipes must go.

  16. Andrew Ladanowski says:

    I won’t attack the issue with respect to pensions. The pension fund in florida is 85% funded. The short fall is only 15%. General employees have a combine 12% of their salary contributed each pay check. If I would have been that disciplined and contributed 12% each year as soon as I started working, I might have been able to retire by 50 as well. Minor adjustments such as capping payouts, and may increasing minimum age to 55 for general employees, might be in order, but in general it would be nice if all working Americans could have a pension fund.(OMG my red friends are going to call me a socialist.)


    All working Americans do have a pension. It is called Social Security.

    The fact is that for most folks, Social Security is inadequate. The answer is not to eliminate Social Security as some Republicans suggest. The answer is to strengthen it somehow, probably by higher contributions, which I know is highly unpopular and unlikely.

    This is really another subject.

  17. Broward Resident says:

    @Commissioner Castillo,

    From a public policy standpoint, it cost to fund voter outreach. County commissioners makes it very clear that they do not want to increase funding for constitutional offices in our county. Example look at the fight Lori had to put up for the property app. office. Also this article speaks from a standpoint double dipping @Buddy check out the Sheriff Office….they are really ripping off the tax payers of this county!!!

  18. Do the math says:

    What if Snipes stayed home on her couch after retirement, collected her pension and drop, to which she was entitled. Wouldn’t someother person serve as SOE and wouldn’t that person be paid the same amount as Snipes is getting? I don’t see that what Snipesis doing costs the taxpayer any additional money – It only takes up a job hat someone else might want or need.

  19. count l f chodkiewicz chudzikiewicz says:

    Pensions are not and were not created by civil servants but by elected officials at the state county n municipal level. Double triple n even quadruple dipping comes from state law usually and we have a conservative Republican governor state senate n house that can always stop this but doesn’t even try because none of them wsnt to reduce their incomes after they leave state government. To blame pensioners like Dr snipes who is obeying rules set by others isn’t very logical or productive.

  20. Norm Price says:

    What is wrong with collecting a pension? Dr. Snipes worked over 30 years in the school system and is in the drop program which she earned and then was appointed to be the Supervisor Of Elections of which she has been very professional so where does double dipping come in? How from other jobs that people either retired from or changed are now eligible for a second pension. Remarks from people like Andrew ladanowski is a joke. What part of I worked and earned my pension is is what counts. Dr. Snipes is to say the least is a very professional person who doe a fantastic job and if she decides to run again I definitely will vote for her and her job SHOULD NOT BE APPOINTED

  21. Andrew LAdanowski says:

    @20 Dr. Snipes messed up badly in Nov 2012 where some precincts had 4 hour line ups. She Left felons eligible to vote. She couldn’t react in time to court order on a simple issue of an open or closed race for Broward County District 2.
    Simple software setting! Both of these actions disenfranchised Broward voters. She was appointed by the Republican governor initially and won by an election.
    Her office posted Scott Israel’s username and password on her website. One thing I do agree is it should be an elected position and this will give broward county the opportunity to replace the dysfunctional SOE in 2016.

  22. norman price says:

    Andrew Ladanowski if you remember correctly which I am sure you do but won’t say it Dr. Snipes had been ordered to cut hours and also cut precincts along with other Counties when the were holding the elections back in 2012. It seems that you have a grudge against her which is why you are ranting and accusing Dr. Snipes of things that are not true so grow up and go back to Canada if you feel this way

  23. Andrew Ladanowski says:

    Norm Price, Dr. Snipes has been polite with me, doesn’t answer my questions, but no grudge. Ask her how she allocated the resources(people and equipment) in 2012, how many pieces of equipment she had at each polling station. Ask her temp employees, some of whom just stood around waiting for voters with no lines and others who had 4 hour line ups. Pretty simple Norm, some precincts had 4 hour line ups, some had no line ups. There was minimal reports of technical problems, it was just poor planing on Dr. Snipes. Simple as that. Ask her yourself! She should write and defend herself. She won’t because, she can’t. Can’t wait for a solid candidate to debate her.

  24. count l f chodkiewicz chudzikiewicz says:

    Let me say miss charlotte greenbarg, well respected for her work in the bow budget committee endorsed Mr. Landanowski for the bow as honest so he must be taken seriously. However if Florida is like new York there is not only no way you can transfer personnel from low turnout election districts to high turn out election districts but states normally require the same number of workers per e.d. Besides legal requirements, there are us civil rights laws. Jews vote three to five times more than blacks. Can you imagine if my high voting cousins eds in parkland and Boca Raton (I know it is in palm beach co.) had more election workers than more area’s low votings e d.s? I can see those civil rights cases from here! Mr ladanowski is trying to be managerially correct but may not understand both the legal and political limits on Dr snipes’ office.

  25. Floridan says:

    I wish Buddy would explain how he figures taxpayers are getting screwed by Dr. Snipes collecting her pension from the School Board and her salary as SOE.


    Did I write anywhere that the taxpayers were getting screwed? I disagree with her collecting two state pensions, but I’m told that apparently can’t be done anymore.

  26. Floridan says:

    Your right, Buddy, you did not write the taxpayers were “getting screwed.” You wrote that in Dr. Snipe’s case, it is “expensive for taxpayers.” How so?

    If Dr. Snipes was not SOE, how would the taxpayers be better off financially?


    I think she is expensive because her salary and pension borders on a 1 percenter.

    Democrats complain about businesses being run by executives who make so much more than their workers. Snipes makes home many times what some of her employees earn.

    That’s because (1) public pensions, especially for office holders, are too lavish and (2) the old law allowing two pensions was ridiculous.

    Most public companies have done away with pensions. Government lag behind and continue to offer pensions.

    Also, maybe future government employees should be required to put collecting their pensions on hold while working at another job covered by a state pension….even if they don’t collect that second pension. This would curb double-dipping — collecting a government pension, while also collecting a government salary.

    Cut future public pension benefits and it would save money for taxpayers.

  27. Andrew Ladanowski says:

    Here’s an interesting website. One of Dr. Snipes opponents was arrested and charged, and those charges were later dropped. I encourage you to watch both videos on this website and decide for yourself if you feel this was an abuse of someone’s authority. http://www.ellenbrodsky.com/

  28. Andrew Ladanowski says:

    @24 I based all my information on how many registered voters were assigned to each precinct. Some precincts were as few and 2 people and some have over 4000 people. As soon as a precinct has 25 people by Florida statute Dr.Snipes has to provide at minimum one scanner for that precinct. Parkland got hit hard not because a higher percentage of their city voted, but because their city grew over the last 10 years and Dr. Snipes did not account for this. Dr. Snipes had all the data and she could have equitably distributed her resources. All my complaints were based on allocating resources based on registered voters, I would never encourage her to allocate by anticipated turn out. Precincts sizes varying of 2 to 4000 voters have a large impact than the variance of voter turn out was as low as ~25% to ~60%. Also, I was encouraging Dr. Snipes to provide free postage on the Absentee ballots, this would encourage people of lower socio-economic means to vote. Put $1.50 worth of stamps on a ballot in Parkland is no big deal, putting a $1.50 worth of stamps in the lower income families, is a big deal. Ask Dr. Snipes why she did not publicly state that she would accept ballots with out postage. I was pushing behind the scenes to get the vote out. No one who knows me could accuse me of trying to suppress voters. Voter Suppression occurred because people could not wait 4 hours. I voted early by absentee ballot to avoid lines, F.Y.I. I tested the process of not putting a stamp on my ballot. First my putting it in my mailbox, post man returned it without the postage. Second time I dropped it off at the post office with out the stamp. It arrived and was accounted for. Buddy, Mitch Ceasar, Cynthia Bush and the county commission knows I was pushing for the public to be aware absentee ballots did not require postage if dropped of at Supervisor of elections.

  29. Andrew Ladanowski says:

    Here’s my email which recieved no response from Dr. Snipes.
    From: Andrew Ladanowski
    Sent: Monday, August 18, 2014 8:04 AM
    To: ‘Dr. Brenda C. Snipes’
    Cc: ‘Mary Cooney’; Ritter, Stacy; ‘Kiar, Martin’; AMan@sun-sentinel.com; BWallman@sun-sentinel.com
    Subject: Official Secret Postage Policy on Absentee Ballots.

    Dr. Snipes,
    I am disappointed on the policy with respect to absentee ballots and required postage. Your document on page 7 clearly states you accept ballots without postage, but you publicly inform the public they are required to provide postage. This is not the first time I brought this issue forward. I feel this is not open and transparent government. How are people being made aware of this secret policy. Miami Dade provides absentee ballots are provided with prepaid postage.
    This is voter suppression, many individuals such as single parents may not have the ability to go to the poles, and are buying a snack for their kids rather than pay for postage for their ballot. We have disfranchised voters, particularly ones of lower socio-economic means.

    To rectify this immediately, you should be making a public announcement that you will be accepting absentee ballots without postage and for the November election have the postage pre-paid and publicly announce this.

    Sincerely Andrew Ladanowski

  30. Andrew Ladanowski says:

    Quote from Ellen Brodsky The long lines were due to unequal distribution of voting booths and the voters. This was in the “Broward Legislative Delegation 2012 Elections Task Force Preliminary Report on Proceedings and Recommendations
    By Jack Pinkowski, Ph.D” The report has been conveniently removed from her website. I will email a copy if buddy wants it.