Port director gets 30 percent raise

Executives at the two authorities that used to be part of the old Jacksonville Port Authority are receiving some substantial raises this year.

The Jacksonville Port Authority gave Executive Director Rick Ferrin additional pay and bonus compensation of $50,218 Monday, a 30 percent increase. The raise follows a 19 percent performance bonus last year.

The Port Authority’s former aviation division, the Jacksonville Airport Authority, made its executive director one of the highest paid in the state this year. And the director gave raises and promotions to several top administrators. One of them has tripled her salary in less than three years.

By contrast, 7,400 city employees are expected to receive pay raises that average 2 percent this year, according to the proposed budget.

JPA board Chairman Marty Fiorentino, chairman of the old Port Authority before it split in October 2001, said the public is still saving money because the restructuring eliminated one top position overseeing the old authority’s two divisions.

That job paid $168,000 in 2001.

But John Draper, spokesman for the watchdog group Concerned Taxpayers of Duval County, said: “The new positions are causing pay inflation because the individuals consider themselves more important than they were two years ago. It’s ridiculous. It’s exactly what we thought would happen.”