Make us your home page

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

The board of the Tampa Port Authority, above, wants to give CEO Paul Anderson more freedom over spending, as well as raising the spending limit to $100,000.

SKIP O’ROURKE | Times (2006)

The board of the Tampa Port Authority, above, wants to give CEO Paul Anderson more freedom over spending, as well as raising the 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 or (813) 226-3404.

Tampa Port Authority wants to raise CEO's spending limit to $100,000 02/19/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 10:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa Bay among top 25 metro areas with fastest growing economies

    Economic Development

    Tampa Bay had the 24th fastest growing economy among 382 metro areas in the country for 2016. According to an analysis by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Tampa Bay's gross domestic product, or GDP, increased 4.2 percent from 2015 to 2016 to hit $126.2 billion.

    Tampa Bay had the 24th fastest growing economy in the country for 2016. Rentals were one of the areas that contributed to Tampa Bay's GDP growth. Pictured is attorney David Eaton in front of his rental home. 
  2. Tampa Bay cools down to more moderate home price increases

    Real Estate

    The increase in home prices throughout much of the Tampa Bay area is definitely slowing from the torrid rate a year ago.

    This home close to Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa sold for $3.055 million in August, making it Hillsborough County's top sale of the month. [Courtesy of Bredt Cobitz]
  3. With successful jewelry line, Durant High alum Carley Ochs enjoys 'incredible ride'



    As a child Carley Ochs played dress up, draped in her grandmother's furs.

    Founder Carley Ochs poses for a portrait in her Ford Bronco at the Bourbon & Boweties warehouse in Brandon, Fla. on September 19, 2017. Ochs is a Durant High and Florida State University graduate.
  4. At Menorah Manor, planning paid off during Irma

    Nursing Homes

    ST. PETERSBURG — Doris Rosenblatt and her husband, Frank, have lived in Florida all of their lives, so they know about hurricanes.

    Raisa Collins, 9, far left, works on a craft project as Certified Nursing Assistant Shuntal Anthony holds Cassidy Merrill, 1, while pouring glue for Quanniyah Brownlee, 9, right, at Menorah Manor in St. Petersburg on Sept. 15. To help keep its patients safe during Hurricane Irma, Menorah Manor allowed employees to shelter their families and pets at the nursing home and also offered daycare through the week. The facility was able to accommodate and feed everyone who weathered the storm there. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  5. After Irma, nursing homes scramble to meet a hard deadline

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida's nursing homes and assisted-living facilities find themselves in an unfamiliar place this week — pushing back against Gov. Rick Scott's administration over new rules that require them to purchase generator capacity by Nov. 15 to keep their residents safe and comfortable in a power …

    In this Sept. 13 photo, a woman is transported from The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills as patients are evacuated after a loss of air conditioning due to Hurricane Irma in Hollywood. Nine have died and patients had to be moved out of the facility, many of them on stretchers or in wheelchairs. Authorities have launched a criminal investigation to figure out what went wrong and who, if anyone, was to blame. [Amy Beth Bennett | South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP]