MANATEE -- Another year, another glowing evaluation and hefty pay raise for Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport’s top executive.
The Sarasota-Manatee Airport Authority gave Frederick “Rick” Piccolo, SRQ’s president and chief executive, nearly perfect marks during his annual job-performance review Monday.
As a result, his annual salary will jump to $254,326 on May 1 -- a 7 percent raise, the maximum possible under his employment contract. Piccolo has received annual pay raises averaging nearly 5 percent a year since becoming SRQ’s top executive in 1996.
“I’m very pleased you all are happy with me and with the progress of the airport,” Piccolo told authority members during a workshop.
Board members gave Piccolo an average score of 4.96 on a scale of zero to five, with five being the best, in the 10 categories in which they judged him. Three -- Gary Kompothecras, Jack Rynerson and Leslie Wells -- gave him perfect scores in every category.
“It is easy for me to give him top marks across the board because SRQ is well-run, the financials look good and in less than three years the facility will be debt-free,” Rynerson wrote in his evaluation.
The only areas where Piccolo did not get perfect scores from all six board members were his relationship with the board, financial management and staff development.
But one authority member said that was partly because of his concerns the board has taken too much of a hands-off approach in recent years.
“My only concern (rated 4, of a possible 5), noted in item No. 2, relationship with board, is really in fairness not entirely president Piccolo’s doing,” Bob Waechter wrote. “I have a gnawing concern that the authority board might be meeting too infrequently to provide the requisite oversight and to maintain the ability to respond to issues that might come up.”
The authority previously met on a monthly basis, but now is scheduled to meet only six times this year.
In a later regular meeting Monday, the authority accepted ThyssenKrupp Elevator Corp.’s $418,151 bid to replace the escalators connecting the passenger terminal’s first and second floors. The escalators are original to the 22-year-old building and need frequent repairs, SRQ officials said.
In accepting ThyssenKrupp’s bid, the authority rejected Kone Corp.’s $306,000 bid because it included escalators that moved 100 feet per minute. The airport said it wanted the new escalators to go 70 feet per minute instead of the current escalators’ rate of 90 feet per minute.
“Both the (airport) safety committee and liability insurer said we need to slow it down,” Piccolo said. “It’s probably the biggest liability location at the airport.”