Up, Up and Away and Here to Stay
After five years as C.E.O. of the Gainesville Regional Airport, Rick Crider found it was not that easy to get everything in order for his return to Texas.
"There's a diverse opinion on the board as to whether a bonus is appropriate or not," Crider said.
So the Airport Authority members voted for how much of a possible $20,250.00 bonus they felt Crider was entitled to receive. Votes ranged from 100 percent, all the way to zero.
"A bonus is where you encourage somebody to stay and do a better job," authority member Mac McEachern said.
According to the final tally, Crider received $12,285.00, or slightly over 60 percent of his possible bonus.
With that matter out of the way, Chairman Peter Johnson moved on to Crider's replacement.
"You could see the various opinions on the previous C.E.O.," Johnson said. "So I wanted to make sure [his replacement] had their endorsement."
And Allan Penksa did have their endorsement, authority members unanimously approved of the interim C.E.O. for the permanent position.
"There are a lot of challenges out there and all these differences of opinion, but I think we have a good rapport," Penksa said. "I want to continue that and move forward."
A contract has not been prepared yet, but Penksa and Johnson agreed negotiations should not present a problem. Authority members said they are pleased with Penksa's performance so far; the airport is currently $58,000.00 ahead of budget. However, Johnson said they have come to expect that over the last couple of years.
"So far, we've been fortunate," Johnson said. "Rick Crider's done a good job of meeting the budget, and it's one of those things where you get a lot of things you can't control."
In his new position, Crider will be consulting for airports similar to Gainesville's, he said he looks forward to the new challenges and he does not leave holding any grudges over the bonus dispute.
"I'm flattered they approved the bonus tonight and very grateful they appreciated the work that I've been involved with," he said.
According to Penksa, he looks forward to his new position, especially filling the other two management slots that are open: one that has been vacant since June and the other his own former position.
By Ted Latiak, WCJB TV20 News
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