WARREN - Dan Dickten, aviation director at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport, has offered to not accept the 10 percent bonus given to him, according to a Trumbull County commissioner and the board chairman of the Western Reserve Port Authority, which oversees the airport.
''Officially, (Dickten) has offered it back,'' said port authority board Chairman Scott Lynn. ''We're going to evaluate that as a board.''
''The message that Trumbull County commissioners sent was received loud and clear, and I'm looking forward to meeting with them in the next couple weeks to see how we can move forward,'' Lynn said.
Commissioners on Wednesday voted to roll back the 1 percent increase in ''bed taxes'' they approved in December 2010. Their decision came just one week after the port authority board gave Dickten, who earns $75,000 a year, a bonus of $7,500.
The rollback isn't effective until Oct. 1.
Commissioners said the bonus sent a poor message to Trumbull County employees whose wages have been frozen.
''As the airport director, he has made some strides out there and has done a good job, but it's bad timing, especially with the three-year freeze that the unions have taken,'' said county Commissioner Dan Polivka.
Polivka said he received an email from Dickten saying he wasn't going to accept the bonus.
Dickten declined to comment Friday.
Commissioner Paul Heltzel said it would go a long way toward reversing the decision to reduce the amount of funding if the port authority board is accepting of Dickten's offer.
''What has to happen is, I think the port authority genuinely did not understand why we took this so seriously,'' Heltzel said. ''I think that we have to get together and understand each others role in the bigger picture.''
When commissioners upped the bed tax percent in 2010 it took Trumbull to the maximum 5 percent allowable under Ohio law and raised the dedicated amount to the port authority from 2 percent to 3 percent. That one percent has accounted for $161,000 for the port.