Make us your home page
Instagram

Tampa International's CEO gets raise as airport employee asks about own pay

TAMPA — Joe Lopano's latest raise was easier than his last one.

The Hillsborough County Aviation Authority board voted 5-0 on Thursday to give Tampa International Airport's CEO a 5 percent merit raise and extend his contract a year through 2016.

That is a $15,000 raise for Lopano, whose annual base salary is $300,0000. The board approval followed news that TIA is projected to make $177 million in fiscal year 2012, which just ended. That's a 9 percent increase from the $162 million it made in 2010 when Lopano arrived.

Board Chairman Steven Burton praised Lopano's work. "I just want you to know that, candidly, the word that comes to mind is it's an honor to be a part of this," he said. "That's a testament to you and your entire management staff and everyone from top to bottom."

Then someone from the lower end of the pay scale spoke up.

Airport mechanic Robert Townsend, 53, said many people at the bottom end of the company are struggling and haven't gotten substantial raises.

Lopano explained that the airport has tried to do just that. Last year employees got a 3 percent cost-of-living-adjustment increase. The airport's last such raise was 2.5 percent in 2008.

Under a new pay plan this year, employees will be eligible for up to a 5 percent merit raise. Next year, the airport will start contributing again to the tax-deferred 457 retirement savings plan, which was stopped in 2009. The airport also said it pays $1 million in medical insurance costs that it does not pass on to employees.

Townsend complained about a 3 percent pay cut airport workers took last year. But Lopano said that was because of changes made to the Florida Retirement System. In 2011, Gov. Rick Scott signed a law that required 623,000 state workers to contribute 3 percent of their salaries to their own pensions. The law is being challenged in the Florida Supreme Court.

The aviation board also heard from James Brandon Lyle, 26, who said he's an Army veteran disqualified from an airport job as a police traffic specialist because he has tattoos down to his wrists.

TIA's police department forbids employees from having visible tattoos. Lyle said he asked if he could wear long sleeves under his uniform and was told no.

The board asked Lopano to look into the matter and report back.

Jamal Thalji can be reached at thalji@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3404.

Tampa International's CEO gets raise as airport employee asks about own pay 10/04/12 [Last modified: Thursday, October 4, 2012 10:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa chamber of commerce votes against tax increase on business property

    Retail

    TAMPA — The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce on Thursday voted against supporting a city of Tampa plan to raise taxes on commercial properties in the city for 2018. The property tax, included in the city's proposed $974 million budget, would boost taxes from $5.73 to $6.33 for every $1,000 in property value.

    The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce voted against supporting a city tax hike on commercial property. Pictured is Bob Rohrlack, CEO of the chamber. | [Times file photo]
  2. Did Hurricane Irma speed the end of Florida orange juice?

    Agriculture

    Hurricane Irma plundered Florida's orange belt, leaving a trail of uprooted trees, downed fruit and flooded groves worse than anything growers say they have seen in more than 20 years.

    A large number of oranges lie on the ground at the Story Grove orange grove in the wake of Hurricane Irma on Sept. 13, 2017, in Lake Wales. [Photo by Brian Blanco | Getty Images]
  3. St. Petersburg's newest hotel opens with craft beers, cocktails and Cozy Corners

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — Last spring, Ryan Tarrant applied for a job with the new Hyatt Place nearing completion in downtown St. Petersburg. Among the questions an interviewer asked:

    What does this hotel need to succeed?

    Hybar, a bar area with outdoor seating  that will feature craft drinks and Sunday brunch starting Oct. 1, is ready to open at the new Hyatt Place hotel at  25 2nd St. N in downtown St. Petersburg. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  4. Culver's crosses into Brandon near Selmon Expressway

    Business

    BRANDON — Like many children, Theresa Hutchins recalls pleading with her parents to take her for ice cream.

    Theresa Hutchins and her fianc? Mike Carelli opened the Tampa Bay area’s newest Culver’s August 28 in Brandon at 2470 S Falkenburg Road.
  5. Back to life: Event helps Riverview revert to peaceful pace after Irma

    Human Interest

    RIVERVIEW — Robin and Ray Castell say establishing residency in the Winthrop Village was one of the best decisions of their lifetime.

    hillsbrandon092217: Meredith Tucker of Riverview, the mother of two children and another one soon on the way, browses the racks of Dot Dot Smile children?€™s clothing as company merchandiser Kelcie Schranck, standing behind her in the black shirt, looks on during the first-of-its-kind Recruiting the Community event on Sept. 17 at the Barn at Winthrop in Riverview. Photo by Joyce McKenzie.