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.
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