by David Chapman, Staff Writer
Jacksonville Aviation Authority CEO Steve Grossman received an “outstanding” performance review Monday from an authority board of directors subcommittee, but any additional compensation will wait until after the first of the year.
The board subcommittee, consisting of Chester Aikens, Ernie Isaac and board Chairman A.L. Kelly, met Monday before the regularly scheduled board meeting to determine Grossman’s performance for the year.
Aikens told the board he thought Grossman did an “outstanding” job and highlighted developments at Cecil Field, his leadership team during a time of transition, his negotiating skills when dealing with airlines on a new agreement and an overall boost in employee morale since he has been on the job.
Aikens said one area Grossman is working on is including more minorities and women in authority capacities.
Despite the review, the three-member subcommittee also decided to postpone discussion of any additional compensation until after the first of the year.
Grossman has a $280,000 annual salary.
Kelly said during the subcommittee meeting that any decision on awarding additional compensation would need to be in the best interest of the authority.
Aikens afterward said that as fiduciaries of the public trust, the board needed to give careful thought as to what was appropriate.
“I really feel that I am part of the City’s team in the economic times that exist. I think we all need to tighten our belts and do responsible things,” Aikens said.
Compensation increases for other independent authority executives and Northeast Florida leadership positions played a part in the decision, Aikens said.
Aikens said he wants to show the board’s appreciation of Grossman’s efforts in saving the authority money, but a reward did not have to be strictly monetary. He said ideas include a trip or a gala in his honor.
Grossman said afterward that the most important result to him was having the support and trust of the board.
“I’m well-compensated. If the board wants to do something down the road, that’s fine,” Grossman said. “Given the economic times of the community, I’m totally OK with the deferral.”
Grossman’s contract allows the board to award up to a 5 percent raise.
“Money is not the motivator. Raises, that kind of thing, motivate you for about three days,” he said. “It’s not what I was looking for.”
He said he doesn’t plan to talk with the board about his pay in the coming months.
He said the trust from his staff, makes it possible to succeed in his job. He referenced a board decision Monday to authorize and approve the conversion of 2031, 2033 and 2036 maturities of a series of 2006 revenues bonds to a fixed-rate direct loan as a means of further success.
The conversion will allow more flexibility in spending and investing while allowing the authority to pay off its debt quicker.
“We’re doing some things that will help us succeed in the long run,” he said of the conversion. “It’s a big deal.”