Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Proposed raise for Utilities CEO

Posted By on Tue, Feb 25, 2014 at 9:39 AM

Martin: Chair of Utilities Personnel Committee.
  • Martin: Chair of Utilities Personnel Committee.
City Council is slated to vote today on whether to increase the pay of Colorado Springs Utilities CEO Jerry Forte from $334,750 to $498,000, a 49 percent bump.

Councilor Jan Martin, who chairs the Utilities Personnel Committee, says a nationwide study of CEO pay at both public and private utilities shows Forte's total compensation — $276,750 base pay and about $58,000 a year in incentive pay — is about 45 percent below the 50th percentile of $622,000, according to the study. More than 40 utilities were surveyed.

Martin acknowledges the raise is a big figure, but she notes that Forte could retire at any time, the chief energy officer, Bruce McCormick, is retiring next month, and water officer Gary Bostrom is eligible for retirement. Succession planning is foremost, she says, to retain Utilities high ranking for reliability, reasonable rates and customer service.

Under the proposal, Forte, who hasn't had a raise in seven years, would stay on for two years, earning base pay of $447,000, plus $26,400 to be applied to his health insurance coverage after retirement, and another $25,000 per year in incentive pay.

Pay of other Utilities executives was found to be pretty close to the 50th percentile, which is Springs Utilities policy goal.

Council was briefed on the study results earlier this month at an open meeting. After Martin introduced the proposal on Monday, there was no discussion. A vote is expected at this afternoon's Council meeting.

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