Saturday, May 19, 2018
Business

Tampa Port Authority wants to raise CEO's spending limit to $100,000

TAMPA — When Paul Anderson took the helm of the Tampa Port Authority last month, his first act as CEO was to ask for money. The port's governing board allowed him to spend $50,000 to start marketing a new shipping route to Tampa.

Now the board members want to give its new CEO the power to spend up to $100,000 without asking their permission anymore.

Port of Tampa officials said the move will even the playing field with competing ports. Those competitors allow their leaders to spend far more: Port Manatee can spend $50,000; the Port of Jacksonville up to $250,000; and Port Everglades allows a total of $350,000.

But the Port of Tampa has limited its CEO to spending just $15,000 without board approval, a cap set in 1995.

"I think this limit, for the size of our port, is extraordinarily low," said Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandra Murman, who sits on the port's governing board.

But it will take an act of the Florida Legislature to raise the limit. The language of the Tampa Port Authority's enabling act — the legislation that created and governs the port — must be changed by lawmakers. The port staff drew up new language that the Hills­borough legislative delegation voted unanimously to send to Tallahassee.

The money would come from the port's operating budget, which is paid for with port fees. But while the board wants the enabling act changed, it's not yet settled on how the CEO will use that new authority.

Murman suggested the new $100,000 limit. Her fellow port commissioners supported it, but instead of just giving the CEO carte blanche, they told the port staff to draw up guidelines for the new spending limit based on the policies of other ports.

"I think we should take time to formulate a policy on this," Commissioner Stephen Swindal said. "Is this $100,000 in the budget? How many $100,000s can they spend in a day or two? I think we need to have a policy other than just a blanket authorization."

Anderson said there are plenty of safeguards in place to make sure the money won't be misused, and he'll use it to market the port more quickly and more nimbly. Anderson said he was fortunate that he was able to get January's $50,000 expenditure approved so quickly because the need coincided with a board meeting. But what if the timing isn't so great next time?

"We're going to promote our port more aggressively," Anderson said. "This is very common sense and in practice with what our competitors are already doing."

Jamal Thalji can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3404.

Comments
Camping without the hassle: New service rents you all the gear you need, plus the car

Camping without the hassle: New service rents you all the gear you need, plus the car

One day in April, I returned from a camping trip - a quick 24 out of the city - and ran a load of laundry. Whatís more telling is what I didnít do.I didnít hose down a muddy tent, I didnít soak a shoddily cleaned pot, and I categorically did not empt...
Published: 05/19/18
Romano: Save your money, sports betting wonít be in Florida anytime soon

Romano: Save your money, sports betting wonít be in Florida anytime soon

It is the middle of the day and the beginning of the off-season at Tampa Bay Downs. That means the action is limited to simulcast wagering, and that means the televisions outnumber the bettors.The parimutuel industry is long past its heyday in Americ...
Published: 05/19/18
Son of Crabby Billís founder leaves complex legacy of troubled projects and good deeds

Son of Crabby Billís founder leaves complex legacy of troubled projects and good deeds

SOUTH PASADENA ó Like his father, who founded the Crabby Billís seafood restaurant chain, John Loder Sr. had a larger-than-life personality. That was one reason he dived into the real estate business, becoming a well-known, if at times controversial ...
Published: 05/18/18
Updated: 05/19/18
Global Tampa Bay initiative seeks to grow direct foreign investment through expanded regional teamwork

Global Tampa Bay initiative seeks to grow direct foreign investment through expanded regional teamwork

TAMPA ó A decade ago, the Great Recession put Hillsborough and Pinellas countiesí efforts to grow their foreign exports on hold.But since then those efforts have returned, gained support and momentum, expanded the range of their ambition and are now ...
Published: 05/18/18
Florida unemployment holds at 3.9 percent, state adds 9,600 jobs

Florida unemployment holds at 3.9 percent, state adds 9,600 jobs

Floridaís economy appears to have plateaued with its unemployment rate holding at 3.9 percent for the seventh straight month, according to the April report released Friday.But some economists say it may be a good thing if the rate doesnít fall much m...
Published: 05/18/18
Lawsuit over Riverwalk Place tower in downtown Tampa settled

Lawsuit over Riverwalk Place tower in downtown Tampa settled

TAMPA ó A lawsuit over the mix of residences and offices in the planned $350 million Riverwalk Place tower has been dropped.Last August, Riverwalk Tower Investment-Intown LLC, which had been expected to be one of the developers in the project, filed ...
Published: 05/18/18
Orlandoís new attractions power jump in theme park attendance

Orlandoís new attractions power jump in theme park attendance

By MIKE SCHNEIDERORLANDO ó The arms race to build new theme park attractions in Orlando is paying dividends. A new report released this week shows theme park attendance at the largest parks in North America last year was up 2.3 percent, powered by ne...
Published: 05/18/18
How Mosaicís relocation could help Tampa International Airport land a flight to Brazil

How Mosaicís relocation could help Tampa International Airport land a flight to Brazil

Tampa International covets a nonstop flight to S„o Paulo, Brazil. Mosaic Co, which is moving its headquarters to Hillsborough County, has huge holdings in the country, including several mines. Could Mosaicís relocation help TIA realize its dream? It ...
Published: 05/18/18
Remember that upscale Guy Harvey RV resort near Tarpon Springs. Forget the Guy Harvey part

Remember that upscale Guy Harvey RV resort near Tarpon Springs. Forget the Guy Harvey part

HOLIDAY ó A year ago this month, Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts announced plans for its first-ever RV park, near Tarpon Springs where the Anclote River empties into the Gulf of Mexico.The $35 million resort, named after the popular Jamaican marine artist...
Published: 05/18/18
American Dream Miami to become largest mall in U.S. after final approval

American Dream Miami to become largest mall in U.S. after final approval

MIAMI ó A gigantic $4 billion retail and entertainment complex won government approval Thursday after years of debate, greenlighting what promises to be the largest mall in North America, just a few miles from the environmentally sensitive Everglades...
Published: 05/18/18