- 2012 - September - 21st -

Port board must vote on CEO compensation

by Joe Wilhelm Jr., Staff Writer

City General Counsel Cindy Laquidara notified the Jacksonville Port Authority on Thursday that a quorum of its board must meet and vote on the compensation recommendations its Audit Committee approved for CEO Paul Anderson on Monday before they can be implemented.

“A subcommittee of three members of the board does not have the authority to approve changes to the compensation package. A quorum of the seven-member board, which is four, must meet and vote on the recommendations of the committee,” said Laquidara.

The committee was operating under the idea that it had been given the authority by the board to review Anderson’s performance and set his compensation, according to Nancy Rubin, port director of communications.

The next board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, the same day the Jacksonville City Council will meet to vote on the City budget for fiscal 2012-13.

The port’s budget may receive a little more scrutiny from some Council members after they were told during a Finance Committee meeting in August by Michael Poole, port chief financial officer, “the only raises in there (the port’s budget) are ones that we are contractually obligated to give to our bargaining-unit employees, which is our union workforce.”

“They tell us one thing in Finance and then give their CEO a raise?” said John Crescimbeni, Council member and Finance Committee chair.

When Poole appeared before the committee in August, that statement was true, according to Stephen Busey, former port board chairman.

“Mike did not know, nor could he predict what the Audit Committee was going to do in September,” said Busey.

The decision to award Anderson the compensation was made after the port’s budget was submitted to the Council and where the money will come from to compensate Anderson has yet to be disclosed by the port.

The port audit committee Monday approved a $16,000 raise — increasing Anderson’s annual salary to $336,000 — and a $50,000 bonus.

The contract between the board and Anderson states that, “Said salary will be reviewed on an annual basis by the board of directors. Additional performance-based bonuses may be paid to the CEO, if at all, in accordance with achieving the short term and long term goals.”

Anderson is completing his second year at the helm of the port, but this is his first performance review. Busey attributed the review delay to the turnover that the board has incurred.

“Buck (Fowler) was going to do it, but he wasn’t reappointed by Gov. (Rick) Scott. Reggie (Gaffney) was going to do it, but he stepped down as chair. I was going to do it, but I was replaced. Then Jim (Citrano) did it,” said Busey.

The Audit Committee consists of Vice Chairman Jim Citrano, who is currently the board’s top executive officer after Busey was replaced by Mayor Alvin Brown, Treasurer Joe York and Secretary John Anderson.

Busey supported the move to reward Anderson’s performance, in part because of his ability to raise millions of dollars for the port from state and federal sources.

“Paul has done a great job,” said Busey.




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