This is a rant, but also a plea for suggestions, tips & hints. I'm stuck in the mid-Atlantic rust belt where I'm suffering from professional brain rot, and I'm trying hard to get out and back to Florida where I started my career. Over the past several months I've applied for five planning director's positions in Florida. In all five instances the positions were filled by existing staff being promoted to the position. With sixteen years of experience, mostly as a planning director at both the city and county levels, previous professional experience in Florida, and AICP, I realistically expected to at least get a telephone interview if not a personal interview. These places did not even have the courtesy to send the obligatory rejection letter, which would have been better than nothing. I'm convinced that the HR departments are only advertising the positions because they have to, and really have no intentions of considering outsiders. One place (hint - home of the St. Lucie Mets) had the nerve to fill the position the same day that the applications were due, so it was obvious that they weren't serious about looking outside. Is anybody else dealing with this same problem, and is it realistic to think about competing on what clearly isn't a level playing field? Or, is this problem just unique to Florida? What's up!