Entergy rate increase includes $30M in perks for execs
LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Of the $106.5 million rate increase that Entergy Arkansas Inc. wants state regulators to approve, about $30 million would mostly benefit top managers in the form of stock options and incentive pay. The company, Arkansas' largest electric utility, says such compensation is necessary for the success of the business. The compensation would mostly go to top managers and mainly at the company's New Orleans-based parent, Entergy Corp., and its other subsidiaries.
"Customers should want their utility to be in good financial health," said Steve Strickland, vice president of regulatory affairs. "Executive compensation packages are designed to recruit, retain, motivate and reward leaders who can contribute to the long-term success of the company."
The Arkansas Public Service Commission is to make a final decision by June 14. If not, state law calls for Entergy to receive the full amount of its rate request.
Entergy's request includes $15.4 million for stock options and $14.6 million in incentive pay.
Entergy Arkansas CEO Hugh McDonald would receive more than $19,300, including $9,345 in club dues, $3,335 in financial advice, $197 for aircraft use and $6,452 for taxes on those expenses.
"A person with total compensation of $716,000 can afford to pay his own income tax and ratepayers should not pay for anyone's club dues," Marcus said in written testimony.
The proposal also includes: hotel rooms for staff members to attend Arkansas Razorbacks games, football and basketball tickets, more than $7,000 worth of Christmas cookies, banquets and catered parties, charity golf tournaments and golf outings with customers. It also calls for donations to groups such as the University of Arkansas foundation, the Arkansas Junior Miss Pageant and Rotary International.