Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

JaxPort CEO to Get 5% Raise, $50,000 Bonus; Some Council Members Object, Saying They Were Misled

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

JaxPort CEO to Get 5% Raise, $50,000 Bonus; Some Council Members Object, Saying They Were Misled

Article excerpt

Byline: David Bauerlein

Jacksonville Port Authority board members approved a 5 percent pay raise and $50,000 bonus this week for its chief executive officer, Paul Anderson, a month after the authority told the City Council it had budgeted no raises for non-union employees.

The decision angered Councilman John Crescimbeni, chairman of the council's Finance Committee, who said Wednesday that council members "absolutely were misled."

Anderson's $320,000 salary will increase to $336,000 on Oct. 1.

Councilwoman Lori Boyer, also on the Finance Committee, said it's awful timing.

"My reaction is it's frustrating that our independent authorities continue to give raises to their executives when our city government is cutting pay and shrinking its workforce," Boyer said. "They're part of the city and I wish they would act more like it."

JaxPort gets $5 million a year from the city. That money is committed to paying off debt.

The approval Monday of Anderson's pay raise came after JaxPort representatives told the council committee on Aug. 23 that the only raises in the agency's proposed 2012-13 budget would be for union-represented employees.

At the committee hearing, Councilman Johnny Gaffney asked point-blank if the authority was planning to give any raises.

"In the [fiscal year] 2013 budget that you have before you, the only raises that are in there are ones that we're contractually obligated to give to our bargaining unit employees, which is our union workforce," Chief Financial Officer Michael Poole said.

DEFENDING DECISION

JPA board member Jim Citrano said Wednesday Poole made an accurate statement. Citrano said money for Anderson's compensation comes from an account that is controlled by the board and kept separate from the rest of the operating budget submitted to the council.

He said the board has that compensation fund because Anderson is the only employee subject to job performance reviews by the board.

"It's two different pots," he said.

Boyer said Poole was "technically correct" because the JPA board hadn't voted on a pay raise for Anderson before that budget hearing, but it's still troubling when pay raises go out after the hearings. …

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