TAMPA — His boss wanted him to have a nice boost in pay, but Tampa International Airport CEO Joe Lopano said Wednesday he'll pass on a raise in this tough economy.
Hillsborough County Aviation Authority chairman Steven Burton said this week that after nine months on the job, Lopano deserved more money — "substantially more'' than the 3 percent other agency employees received Oct. 1.
The subject was to come before the board Thursday.
In a statement, Lopano said: "I appreciate the confidence members of the Aviation Authority board have in me. We were fortunate to be able to offer employees a 3 percent raise this year, after they went three years without one. But given the difficult economy, I don't think it's appropriate for me to accept a raise at this time."
Lopano earns a salary of $250,000 a year under his employment contract that went into effect Jan. 1. He also receives a $49,000 pension contribution and $6,000 car allowance.
Burton did not say how much Lopano should get, but if the board agreed to give Lopano the 3 percent raise, his annual salary would be $312,500.
Lopano made $358,142 at his old job at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Last month, Jacksonville Aviation Authority gave airport CEO Steve Grossman a 14 percent raise, boosting his salary from $245,000 to $280,000.
"I took this job with the goal of increasing domestic and international flights at the airport and building on its reputation as one of the most highly regarded airports in the world," added Lopano. "My team and I have had quite a few successes already. We will continue to focus on doing good work for the airport."