Spaced Port Pt. 2

Posted: November 25, 2012 in Parking
Tags: , , , , , ,

First off, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. As much as I’ve been enjoying seeing family and living off of leftovers the past few days, it’s high time I finished regaling you all with the saga of Port Canaveral and how the local parking industry was nearly wiped out by a corrupt Port Authority.

Thankfully, two of the Commission members (Mr. Weinberg and Mr. Allender yet again) and a coalition of private operators raised the alarm and got organized, and were able to put enough pressure on the Port Authority to re-examine it’s new policies and rescind them. A special parking committee was made to examine parking option for the Port and make recommendations for it going into the future. Though Mr. Payne’s cronies on the Commission originally wanted to have it setup without any representation from a single private parking service, our two level-headed commissioners once again stepped in and got Todd Oakley, the man behind Cruise Parking of Port Canaveral, on this new committee to look after the interests of small businesses and parking operators.

 Now what could have fueled this craziness and abuse of a public institution by Mr. Payne? Well, you could ask him, but I doubt he’d be very forthcoming. Luckily, he’s given us some hints. You see, everyone at the Port Authority (besides the Commission members) gets a bonus based on how profitable the Port was over the past year. Up until a recently passed Florida state law, this only went to people in management roles. It now applies to all Port Authority staff, but while low tier staff were looking at a couple hundred dollars, management bonuses were in the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars, up to 20% of their base salary. For 2012, the Port had $300,000 of taxpayer money earmarked for these bonuses, bonuses that were going to go to people for trying to stamp out local businesses. As if this left any doubt that the bonuses were a big motivating factor in this debacle, the Commission voted at the end of September to get rid of the bonuses because of the negative effect they were having on the Port Authority (thanks again to our two small business heroes on the Commission).

 Given the recent debacle that occurred when Mr. Payne had the Commission approve an updated severance package for him that included an illegal two-year severance pay (but who can blame him for not knowing that, his legal background only consists of law and economics degrees, being commissioner of the Florida Ports Financing Commission, and his past 23 years of work before his job as CEO being Legal Counsel, Director of Law and Administration and Director of Legal services for private corporation and the Virginia Port Authority), and then had the Port Authority pick up the $67,000 tab for legal fees to sort out his “mistake”, I think it seems pretty obvious that Mr. Payne’s primary concern with the Port Canaveral Port Authority is how much money is it making for HIM, not the taxpayer.

 Thankfully, it seems that the voice of reason has returned to the Port Commission; but for how long? While I doubt that Mr. Payne has much time left in his role as CEO, one has to remember that he was appointed by the Port Commission, which is made up of publicly elected members. So take the time to look into your local government and who in it may have the power to affect your business, because otherwise you may be finding yourself being run out of business by someone you elected.

  1. […] Authority. As some may recall, I detailed some of the Canaveral Port Authority’s blunders and mismanagement in this blog back in November. While the level of crazy seems to have peaked back then, things have […]

  2. […] citing a few examples across the country in addition to the numerous instances I have covered in this blog. This week, we’re going to examine the motivations behind this industry squeeze and how […]

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