Citing personal and professional reasons, Flagler County Airport Director Roy Sieger told his airport advisory board this afternoon that he was staying in Flagler County after all, three weeks after announcing his resignation to take a job with the Hillsborough County Airport Authority.
“There was some recent things in my professional career and also in my personal life that caused me to reconsider my decision to leave here,” Sieger said. “So I’m actually staying now. I’m not leaving. I’m not leaving. You’re all stuck with me till I retire,” he joked. The county, he said, “made adjustments with me as well.”
In Hillsborough, he would have been the manager of general aviation for four airports–Tampa International, Tampa Executive, Peter O. Knight airport and Plant City Airport. The Hillsborough job would have paid him $118,000. His current job pays $101,000, but Deputy County Administrator Sally Sherman said he’d be getting a “salary adjustment”–that is, a raise–and will be placed in the county’s senior class retirement system, significantly raising the county’s contribution to his retirement pension: that contribution would rise from the 7.26 percent that rank and file employees benefit from to 21.43 for senior management service class employees.
Craig Coffey, the county administrator, was off today and did not return a call to his cell phone. “He will get a raise down the road, but everything is staying the same right now,” Coffey was quoted as saying in a county news release issued during the airport advisory board meeting.
His last day was to be Aug. 24. A farewell party was scheduled for Aug. 21. Gordon Heritage, chairman of the airport advisory board, said the party should still be held, only changed to a “glad-you’re staying party.
“It’s great for the airport if he really has changed his mind,” Heritage said of Sieger’s decision just before the advisory board meeting, as board members were gathering outside the meeting room, waiting for Sieger. The decision had not been confirmed as yet, but some board members had heard of it.
Sieger dealt with an agenda matter or two before addressing his decision minutes into the 4 p.m. meeting. “There’s a couple of personal reasons, I won’t go into those right now. I actually will, one of the things is my wife’s mother has cancer, breast cancer, so she’s going through all that chemo treatment. My wife is helping out with that, you all know I stay here during the week and go home on the weekends. Me going with a new position, I don’t think they’d be as accommodating with me saying you know what. I’ve got to go take care of something. That job would be a lot more demanding and I just feel that this would be a better for me right now to stay here at Flagler County Airport. And I love it here. Not only do I love it here, I love the community. I love who I work for.”
He said it was very difficult for him to make the decision.
“We talked on the phone for hours,” Sherman said, describing his difficulties making the decision. “We recognized we have a great employee.” She added, “I hope the citizens understand, with the return of the economy, it’s going to be a challenge to find and keep good people, and we’re going to have to be sensitive to that, and I hope citizens understand that as well. We’re not just doing this for anybody.” She said Sieger’s efforts brought $27 million in grants to the airport over the years.
Sieger said there was too much happening at the airport to leave. “There’s a bunch of different things is, I had a lot going on with this airport and I was really torn about leaving here, because there’s a lot of big projects coming up,” he said, such as building the airport’;s new runway and getting the money to build a new terminal facility.
County Commission Chairman Frank Meeker described Sieger’s decision as like “Christmas in August” in comments in a county news release issued shoretly after 4 p.m. “Roy is a wonderful asset, so I’m glad he decided to stay,” Meeker said.
Sieger was named General Aviation Manager of the year for 2012 by the Federal Aviation Administration within the Southern Region. He will be honored at Monday’s County Commission meeting, as the Florida Department of Transportation recently awarded the runway safety area improvements at the Flagler Executive Airport “project of the year.”
Rick Belhumeur says
Wonderful news. Roy has been one of the best employees of the county and has done remarkable things, transforming our airport into one that anyone would be proud to have in their region. (by the way… where’s the new sign?) Apparently, it’s not totally uncommon for someone to change their mind after thinking things through. It’s nice to know that the county responded in a way that Roy now feels comfortable enough to stay. Maybe the Flagler Beach commission could take notes on how to keep good people and offer a little incentive to crucial personnel.
My thoughts says
I wonder where home is. If it’s good enough to work here, shouldn’t you live here?
just me says
Seiger does own a home in Flagler BUT even if he did not is it a condition of his or any other that is employed by Flagler county?
just me says
Good for him BUT why does our county give those who make so much more then the average employee so much more of a % in retirement? Just seems NOT to be fair to pay one over 100K a year and also give them 21K a year in retirement but one who makes some 25K a year would get about 2K. “significantly raising the county’s contribution to his retirement pension: that contribution would rise from the 7.26 percent that rank and file employees benefit from to 21.43 for senior management service class employees”
Glad to hear that Roy is staying. Anyone who has met him knows that he is a good man! He has also done wonders for the airport.
steve miller says
Wrong…once you quit…thats it… you can’t go back
you do get it that he never left?
Working for the government comes with higher pay AND super extraordinary benefits AND work rules that those working in the private sector can only dream about. And through taxes non-government workers are required to pay for the high scale of pay and super benefits that will never be available to them. Something is wrong here.
Deceiving the public again says
This man should get the same retirement as everyone else. There is far too much of this high retirement being paid to non elected officials at the tax payers expense. This is a huge expense to us tax payers!!!! Our leaders are out of control and this is all being allowed by the Board of County Commissioners.
Everyone is replaceable, and if the man wants his job then keep it, but there is no reason to raise his pay for him to stay. If it is a better fit than leaving then he was willing to keep it as it was and it should not be increased. What is going on that his pay and retirement was raised for no reason? He better be glad that he was allowed to stay after he announced his resignation. Once a resignation is announced, it is normally final!!!! The county administrator Craig Coffey and Board of County Commissioners have some explaining to do. This should not be happening.