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Published: Friday, 4/29/2011

Port board chief gets pay hike

Directors grant increase from $170,000 to $178,500

Paul Toth, president Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, will be given a 5 percent raise, retroactive to Jan. 1. Paul Toth, president Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, will be given a 5 percent raise, retroactive to Jan. 1.

The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority board of directors Thursday approved a 5 percent raise, retroactive to Jan. 1, for agency President Paul Toth.

The board also directed agency staff to draft a formal employment agreement for Mr. Toth, who has not had one since his promotion in October, 2009.

The raise from $170,000 to $178,500 was approved by an 11-0 vote following a closed-door executive-session discussion. Opie Rollison, the port board's chairman, said afterward that Mr. Toth's raise was granted because "all of his goals and objectives have been met" and its size was based on compensation that port executives elsewhere with comparable responsibilities receive.

Toledo's port authority oversees a Lake Erie port operation, two airports, and Toledo's train station, along with economic development and community financing programs.

Mr. Toth, a 25-year port authority employee, succeeded port president Michael Stolarczyk, who resigned after just 6 1/2 months to return to the Columbus area. Mr. Toth had been the agency's interim president between the August, 2008, firing of President James Hartung and Mr. Stolarczyk's hiring the following March.

Mr. Rollison said the employment contract to be drafted for Mr. Toth will be drawn along lines similar to that Mr. Stolarczyk received.

Mr. Stolarczyk had been eligible to receive performance-based bonuses of up to $15,000 in addition to his salary, and the port authority provided a Toledo Club membership to him for the purpose of conducting agency business there.

But his contract contained no severance provisions, and Mr. Rollison specified that will also be the case for Mr. Toth. Severance proved to be a point of contention when the port authority fired Mr. Hartung "with cause" for an inappropriate relationship with a female lobbyist.

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