Questions Mount About Port CEO's Raise and Extension

Walsh should spend more time working to improve and develop what we have, instead of constantly wanting to develop more. Bigger is not always better.
— CPA Chairman Jerry Allender
John is getting a reputation for telling people what they want to hear, but then doing the opposite. John needs to faithfully implement policies and decisions made by the commission, not try to undermine decisions he does not agree with.
— CPA Commissioner Bruce Deardoff
Walsh does not take criticism from staff or public... there is a lack of direction and oversight (among department heads and managers) when Walsh is away. Some managers are “afraid to make decisions” if Walsh is away.
— CPA Chairman Jerry Allender
John continues to do a good job,” but “is being very brusque with the public, which creates unnecessary bad feelings.
— CPA Commissioner Hank Evans

Walsh's harshest critic was CPA Chairman Jerry Allender, which is surprising. Despite Allender, Com. Hank Evans and Com. Bruce Deardoff giving Walsh scathing reviews, Allender — at the very end of their Aug. 26 meeting and following public comment — brought forth a motion to raise Walsh's pay to $250,747 per year, a 5.4-percent raise. They also decided to extend Walsh's contract two years to 2018. Neither of the topics was on the agenda, and just prior to bringing up the subject Allender chastised Walsh and staff for not bringing agenda items to them in a timely manner.

The vote was not unanimous, however. Just before Allender started discussing the compensation issue, Evans stood up and left the chamber. Walsh's compensation and contract passed 4-0 with commissioners Allender, Deardoff, Justice and Weinberg voting in favor of it.