Today's Paper Latest stories Obits Newsletters Weather Puzzles/games
story.lead_photo.caption Ron Mathieu, executive director at Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport/ Adams Field, is shown in this file photo. - Photo by Rick McFarland

The top official at the state's largest airport won a 3 percent raise Tuesday, cementing his place as the highest-paid public servant in city government.

Ron Mathieu, the executive director at Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport/Adams Field, will now draw an annual base salary of $229,072.57, up $6,672 from his previous salary of $222,400.55. He also received a $45,000 bonus and contributions equal to 2.5 percent of his 2018 base salary to each of his two retirement plans, or more than $279,000 in total compensation.

The seven-member Little Rock Municipal Airport Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to award Mathieu the raise, bonus and retirement contributions after going into executive session for 43 minutes to conduct Mathieu's annual performance review during the commission's monthly meeting.

"I am pleased to report we are very pleased with what is going on out here," said Gus Vratsinas, the commission member who made the motion to boost the executive director's annual compensation.

[DATABASE: Search salaries of state employees in the 2017 fiscal year]

Mathieu received a similar salary increase and bonus a year ago. The action marks the fifth year in a row Mathieu has received a 3 percent raise.

Mathieu, 55, has led Clinton National since 2008. The airport employs more than 150 people and has a $34 million operating budget this year.

The airport, which is a city agency but receives no money from the city, finished 2017 with net operating income of $13 million, 4 percent more than the net operating income the airport earned in 2016. Passenger traffic last year climbed almost 2 percent to top 2 million passengers for the first time since 2014.

The airport's concourse is in the midst of a $26 million upgrade that has already included the installation of more than 800 seats with the capability of charging cellphones and other electronic devices. The previous seats had been in place since the concourse opened in 1972.

The airport also has announced three new air service agreements that will be launched over a two-month period beginning March 1 when Frontier Airlines starts a direct flight between Little Rock and Denver.

American Airlines will begin operating non-stop flights to and from Washington, D.C., on April 3, and low-cost carrier Via Airlines begins service between Little Rock and Austin on April 29.

Mathieu said he welcomed the commission's "continued support of staff and myself" and pledged to "ensure that everything we do is intended to ensure long-term success and viability of this airport and to continue to be focused on making this airport the best managed small-hub airport in the nation."

The second-highest paid public official in Little Rock is Jon Swanson, who drew an annual salary of $206,591 last year as executive director of Metropolitan Emergency Medical Services. Next is Greg Ramon, chief executive officer of the Little Rock wastewater utility. He made $203,049 last year.

Tad Bohannon, chief executive officer of Central Arkansas Water, is the fourth-highest paid. His base salary is $196,248 after he was awarded a 2 percent raise last week.

Metro on 02/21/2018

Print Headline: LR airport exec gets raise, bonus; City government’s largest salary tops $229,000, plus benefits

Sponsor Content


You must be signed in to post comments
  • MaxCady
    February 21, 2018 at 9:24 a.m.

    What a hustler! He gets more for doing less than anybody in city government! Is there another airport in the state that handles large jets that I'm not aware of??!!

  • drs01
    February 21, 2018 at 9:49 a.m.

    He's overpaid all right.But what did you expect. These same commissioners who approved this pay raise are the ones that voted to rename our airport to include the name of Hillary, whose claim to fame was the MRS. in her name....
    Rainmaker at the Rose law firm
    A brief senate career - just to keep her dream alive of being the first female president.
    Failure as Secretary of State but,.,,,
    a hell of a fund raiser for the family Foundation.

  • HenryP
    February 21, 2018 at 11:26 a.m.

    Travel and Leisure magazine rates LR as the worst airport in the US. Feel free to fact check.

  • FightingScot
    February 21, 2018 at 11:48 a.m.

    Another example of automatic raises no matter the financial needs of the rest of the state. These raises must be eliminated. Raises should be based on reviews and merit.

  • MaxCady
    February 21, 2018 at 12:47 p.m.

    He should write a book titled: How I Got Over!

    February 21, 2018 at 12:55 p.m.

    More than the police chief, fire chief and even the mayor? WOW! That Adams Field must really be somethi’n else!

  • wildblueyonder
    February 21, 2018 at 1:54 p.m.


  • 3WorldState1
    February 21, 2018 at 2:25 p.m.

    But you don't mind Jamie Dimon getting literally millions of dollars back in income tax savings (paid for by you and me)? But a guy with probably a pretty hard job you cry because he makes 150k a year?
    What in the hell are you people talking about? You talk out of both sounds of your mouth constantly.

  • PopMom
    February 21, 2018 at 2:26 p.m.

    At least he got a direct flight from D.C. back.

  • Jfish
    February 21, 2018 at 2:59 p.m.

    Is this the reason that parking rates are so high at such a small airport?