published Thursday, December 30th, 2010

TVA acknowledges Bradley County concern about bonuses

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- TVA officially has thanked Bradley County commissioners for their concern about what the commission called excessive salaries for agency employees.

A letter from TVA Board Chairman Dennis C. Bottorff responds to the commission's resolution expressing concern about the bonuses recently given to employees -- averaging about $6,900 each -- and tripling this year's salary for TVA President Tom Kilgore, who will earn about $3.6 million.

Commissioner Jeff Yarber said in early December that today's financial climate is not the time for substantial bonuses. The resolution, which some commissioners said was not a county issue, called on TVA to reconsider.

"We appreciate the commission's acknowledgment of TVA's need for skilled people, and it is essential that TVA attract and retain a capable work force at all levels," Bottorff wrote. "During 2010, TVA employees delivered on our performance goals."

At the same time, the letter states, TVA is helping drive the economic recovery across its seven-state region. Tough economic times makes TVA's mission to provide reliable low-cost power more critical, the letter states.

Commissioner J. Adam Lowe called the letter "delicately worded."

"My comments were to the effect that we are simply communicating with a partner, TVA, for patrons of their power," Lowe said.

On Tuesday, TVA joined the two-year pay freeze adopted by Congress. The freeze does not affect the bonuses.

Contact Randall Higgins at rhiggins@timesfreepress.com or 423-314-1029.

about Randall Higgins...

Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...

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rockman12 said...

What a classic response from an out of control company. It sounds like TVA's response was written by the same people that wrote the response that the big banks and Wall Street said when people complained about the excessive pay and bonuses they gave out the same year that they drove the economy to the brink of a major depression. TVA claims that they are helping improve the economy in their seven state service area, but yet they have done nothing other than raise rates at a time when their customers are under pay freezes and the unemployment rate is near 10%. Where, TVA, are you helping? Stop lying to your customers and bring the excessive pay and bonuses back down to reality. The current CEO does not deserve a $3.6 million salary. He obviously cant run a company safely. Just look at the ash spill in TN and all the other problems with the retention ponds leaking, or the fact that a source of cheaper non fossil fuel electricity (Browns Ferry nuclear plant)has been shutdown three times in the past year without warning due to equipment failures. Take his pay raise back and put the money into the facilities or invest it in renewable sources of electricity. Its time TVA gets its head out of its backside and get with reality.

December 30, 2010 at 10:52 a.m.
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