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Port Tampa Bay CEO Paul Anderson gets raise to $465,000 a year

Port commissioners approved the raise after a year with milestone achievements on several fronts.

TAMPA — Over the past year, Port Tampa Bay chief executive officer Paul Anderson has welcomed the arrival of three new weekly container ships from Asia, the completion of a deep-water channel expansion that was decades in the making and the patronage of more than a million cruise ship passengers.

On Tuesday, port commissioners voted to reward Anderson with a 5 percent merit raise, plus a 1.5 percent cost-of-living raise that all port employees receive. The increases take Anderson’s annual pay from $436,908 to $465,307 a year.

The raise came after a round of evaluations in which port commissioners rated Anderson, who has led the port since 2012, on a scale of 1 (unsatisfactory) to 5 (outstanding) in 11 different areas of performance.

On average, Anderson’s score was 4.8. His lowest marks, a composite 4.3, came from Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, who wrote that the only reason she didn’t give Anderson more outstanding marks was because she hadn’t been on the board long enough to provide a comprehensive assessment.

More typical was commissioner Patrick Allman, who said the past year has been the best of the eight he has served on the board.

“This was just a fantastic year, and you’ve got to recognize that,” Allman said. “In the private sector, you pay for talent and you get what you pay for. … If we had accomplished just getting one ship from China I would be happy. If we had accomplished just the Big Bend Channel deepening and widening, I would be happy.”

In addition to the raise, the board approved a one-year extension of Anderson’s employment contract to the end of 2024, five additional days of vacation, and a one-time contribution of $80,000 to his deferred compensation plan from revenues that the port gets from sources other than taxes or state appropriations.

Since 2012, when Anderson was hired, the port’s operating revenue has risen 46 percent, its lease revenue is up 68 percent, the number of shipping containers it handles has gone up nearly 165 percent and its cargo is up more than 21 percent.

Contact Richard Danielson at or (813) 226-3403. Follow @Danielson_Times