JAA's Evaluation Process under Review; Committee Wants to Conduct the Process

Article excerpt

Byline: Christopher Calnan, Times-Union business writer

After making its executive director one of the highest-paid airport executives in the state two months ago, the Jacksonville Airport Authority is reconsidering its performance evaluation process.

The authority's Finance and Audit Committee is requesting the JAA board allow the committee to conduct the annual evaluation and make salary recommendations in the future.

In October, Ron Townsend, then committee chairman, evaluated Executive Director John Clark and recommended that Clark receive a 5 percent cost-of-living raise worth $8,420 and a 12 percent one-time performance bonus of $20,209. No other committee members participated.

JAA board members unanimously agreed with Townsend's recommendation and voted without discussing the dollar value of the increases. One board member later said that the board should have had more discussion about industry pay standards during the meeting.

The two adjustments boosted Clark's pay to $197,040 this year. By comparison, the state's largest airport, Miami International Airport is six times larger than Jacksonville International Airport but pays its director $201,571 a year.

Finance and Audit Committee Chairman Jim McCollum didn't fault the evaluation process but said it could be improved.

"I don't think it was wrong, it's just the way it was done," he said. "I do believe that function should be addressed by a board committee."

No date has been set for the recommendation to be considered by the authority board.

Last month, JAA Vice Chairman Jay Stein sent a memorandum to the authority saying that he was "taken aback" by the evaluation process.

Stein took issue with the lack of board members' involvement in Clark's evaluation and the lack of warning that the issue would be considered during the October meeting. Clark's evaluation wasn't listed on the meeting's agenda. …


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