Make us your home page
Instagram

Contentious raise for Tampa International Airport CEO back on the table

TAMPA — Three months ago, Tampa International Airport CEO Joe Lopano turned down a $50,000 raise that would have upped his total compensation to what his previous job paid.

Now he appears ready to take it.

The Hillsborough County Aviation Authority will consider a raise Thursday, though how big is unclear. Board chairman Steve Burton is negotiating the details with Lopano, said TIA spokeswoman Janet Zink.

Burton favored a raise after Lopano had been on the job nine months. Two other members agreed.

But the only elected officials on the board — the three others are appointed by the governor — opposed a raise in October. County Commissioner Victor Crist and Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said it was too soon.

"Nine months is not enough time to make that kind of decision," Buckhorn said.

The mayor's position is unchanged. While he thinks Lopano is doing a great job, it's still too early for a raise, Buckhorn said. He favors waiting until later this year, after Lopano gets a second performance review in August.

"Over time he will earn every bit of it,'' he added.

Crist agreed. "I think he's an incredibly unique individual who's doing an incredibly great job,'' Crist said. "He's beating all expectations.'' But he would not consider a raise until Lopano's contract expires in two years, he said.

"To me, a contact is a contract,'' Crist said. "I believe it should have had incentive bonuses built into it and it didn't. … At this juncture I think it's premature to be talking about a raise.''

Still, he is open to extending Lopano's $3,000 monthly housing allowance, which expired Dec. 31, for 12 to 24 months, he said. That would help him get closer to his previous compensation, he said.

Lopano rejected a raise in October, citing tough economic times, though he said he would consider a bonus. Buckhorn and Crist opposed a bonus.

While it's unclear how big a salary adjustment Burton will propose, it will not be a bonus, Zink said.

Lopano earned a 4.8 rating out of a possible five in his August evaluations. He has earned high marks from board members for his drive and focus on economic development, particularly luring more direct international flights.

Nonstop flights four days a week to Cuba already have begun, and Swiss carrier Edelweiss plans twice-weekly flights to Zurich beginning in May. The board on Thursday will consider a $27.6 million renovation of Airside F to accommodate increased international travel.

Lopano's total annual compensation of $312,500 includes $250,000 salary, $49,000 pension contribution and $6,000 car allowance.

His base salary for the job he left at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport was $262,642. With benefits, his compensation totaled $358,142.

He has said he wants to match his old salary.

Staff writer Sue Carlton contributed to this report. Tom Scherberger can be reached at (813) 226-3384 or scherberger@sptimes.com.

Airport executive salaries

Airport CEO Executive director salaries Passengers (2010)
Dallas/Fort Worth $378,266 56.9 million
Washington Metro Airports $350,000 41.9 million
Los Angeles

Airports
$330,000 59 million
Jacksonville $280,000 5.6 million
Tampa $250,000 16.6 million
Cincinnati $250,000 8 million
Orlando $237,536 34.9 million

Source: Hillsborough County Aviation Authority

Contentious raise for Tampa International Airport CEO back on the table 01/09/12 [Last modified: Monday, January 9, 2012 10:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. USAA expansion at Crosstown Center may bring Tampa 1,000 more jobs

    Corporate

    BRANDON — USAA will bring as many as 1,000 more jobs to Hillsborough County in early 2019 with the expansion of its existing operations in Brandon.

    Stuart Parker, president and chief executive officer of USAA, speaks at the company's new Crosstown Center location in Brandon during a visit following its 2015 opening. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times, 2016]
  2. FHP bids for pay raise a week after disastrous publicity

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — This is real bad timing.

    FHP license plate.
  3. Rhetoric over: Three-nation effort to revise NAFTA begin

    National

    WASHINGTON — Of all the trade deals he lambasted on the campaign trail as threats to American workers, President Donald Trump reserved particular scorn for one: The North American Free Trade Agreement.

    Claudio Montes checks a shipping manifest for U.S. manufactured parts heading to assembly plants in Mexico at Freight Dispatch Service Agency LTD in Pharr, Texas, in June. The freight service ships parts between the U.S. and Mexico that pass through the border freely due to the North American Free Trade Agreement. Of all the trade deals he lambasted on the campaign trail as threats to American workers, President Donald Trump reserved particular scorn for one: NAFTA. [Nathan Lambrecht | The Monitor via AP]
  4. Rick Scott finds out today if he has backing on Venezuela

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Now Florida's Cabinet gets to weigh in on Venezuela.

    Florida Governor Rick Scott interacts with people as he holds a Venezuelan Freedom Rally at El Arepazo 2 restaurant on July 10 in Miam. Governor Scott called on the Venezuelan government to free Leopoldo Lopez, a political prisoner from house arrest, as well as those that have been wrongly imprisoned by Nicolas Maduro's government.  [Joe Raedle | Getty Images]
  5. Publix continues to invest in online and app delivery through in-house promotion

    Retail

    Publix Supermarkets is investing more heavily in its online and app development by naming a new vice president to head this growing department.

    Publix Supermarkets is investing more heavily in its online and app development by naming a new vice president to head this growing department. 
[SCOTT KEELER   |   TIMES
 file photo]