Apr 13, 2010 7:52 PM by News First 5

CSU CEO nets $71,000 bonus

Even though the economy is improving, budgets are still tight. That's why many are questioning a big bonus for the CEO of Colorado Springs Utilities.

Forte recently received a $71,000 bonus on top of his more than $250,000 salary. "If you pay people chump change, you get chumps," said councilman Sean Paige, one of 8 council members who voted to approve the bonus.

"It's a very big enterprise to run and he's keeping the lights on and he's keeping the water running," he said.

"I disagreed with one of the numbers," said Mayor Lionel River, the only councilmember to vote against it.  "I just felt that the way the performance pay was calculated was skewed a little bit too high so I could not support it."

It's part of Jerry Forte 's contract with the city.  If he meets certain goals, he gets a bonus. The mayor says it doesn't affect your rates. "When you're looking at a billion dollar operation and I think the bonus was about $71,000 it doesn't affect rates," he said.

But some taxpayers are still upset. "Doesn't seem very in line with all of the cuts that they are having," said Ana Procuna. 

"Money should be used for something else," said Bradford Moreno.

"Might be more helpful if he was to use it for Colorado Springs more or less," said Fernando Settle.

Forte received about $30,000 of it on April 9.  The rest went into a retirement account.



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