One of the most enduring symbols of American democracy is the smooth and orderly transition from one elected official to the next, which requires early and informed planning to be successful. The two-month time frame between Election Day and the inauguration will be one of the most challenging yet fundamentally rewarding periods for the Governor-Elect as he undertakes the Herculean task of shifting roles from a candidate garnering votes to a newly-elected Governor assuming the myriad duties and responsibilities of governing the great State of Florida.
Between now and January 8, 2019, an entire administration must be assembled; agency heads appointed; executive staff hired; an inauguration planned and executed; a legislative agenda prioritized; and important relationships built with the Legislature, the Judicial Branch, the Cabinet, the media, and, most important, the people of Florida. It is a time to coordinate the development of the policies, the team, and the tone of the new administration. This period will be also characterized by the inundation of voluminous manuals of information on government programs, protocol, and specifics along with numerous requests by a variety of people and organizations to meet with the Governor-Elect to provide information and assistance in managing the transition and developing policies.
The major goal of any transition is the proper and smooth transfer of power to the new Governor. The transition is foremost the sum of activity, attitudes, and actions shaped by the concern for both change and continuity in government. The transition affords the new Governor the opportunity to establish a firm foundation for a successful administration.
Transitions of power present many demands and challenges. Perhaps the greatest challenge faced by the Governor-Elect and his developing team is in the reality of the short period of time (9 weeks) between the election and inauguration. During the transition, an overwhelming assortment of decisions and tasks must be completed with all due diligence for the Governor to assume his or her duties and communicate interests and directions between the old and new administrations and within the new.