Federal fishery council pays “profit sharing” bonuses to CEO

By PAUL KOBERSTEIN

One of the Western Pacific FIshery Management Council's (Wespac’s) larger expenses is the $187,000 annual salary paid its executive director, Kitty M. Simonds (also known as Rose B. Simonds). The salary, which is scheduled to increase to $220,000 by 2009, includes an annual “profit sharing” payment of about $20,000.

Profit-sharing payments seem odd because Wespac is a federal entity that receives all of its funding from the taxpayer and generates no profits from any of its operations.

Simonds’ salary is equal to almost one-third the annual revenue from all current NWHI fisheries, which Simonds wants to expand, despite environmental concerns raised by other federal entities that have ordered some of them to be closed.

Simonds refused to speak with Cascadia Times.

There are eight fishery management councils in the U.S., and none pay profit sharing or other bonuses to executives. “I don't know what profit sharing means,” said Chris Oliver, executive director of the Anchorage-based North Pacific Council, in a reply to an email. “We do not pay bonuses to the Executive Director or any other employees.”

Simonds’ salary is determined by Wespac members and not the U.S. Department of Commerce, which allocates money to Wespac through annual contracts and special agreements, and oversees Wespac’s operations. Wespac has no real authority other than to recommend fishing management plans to the Secretary of Commerce.

Kitty B. Simonds signs her name Rose M. Simonds on official documents.

HerSimonds’ salary exceeds that of both Commerce Secretary Carlos Guiterrez and Conrad Lautenbacher, administrator of the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (see table).

President George Bush $400,000

Vice President Dick Cheney $208,100

Chief Justice John Roberts $208,100

House Speaker Dennis Hastert $208,100

Kitty Simonds, Executive Director, Wespac $187,469

Secretary of Commerce Carlos Guiterrez $180,100

Conrad Lautenbacher Administrator of NOAA $162,100

Hawai`i Gov. Linda Lingle $112,000

Paul Koberstein