Bartlett board calls new CEO's pay average for Alaska

The Bartlett Regional Hospital board of directors met with the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly on Wednesday to justify the salary and bonuses it agreed to pay its new CEO. 

 

Charles “Chuck” Bill will be paid $315,000 per year, plus a signing bonus of $31,500 and relocation compensation of $31,500.

The hospital’s former CEO was paid thousands less: $260,000 per year and a relocation package of $23,027.

At last week’s finance committee meeting, Assemblyman Randy Wanamaker requested a meeting with the board president and treasurer to answer questions about the contract negotiation process. Wanamaker said he didn’t find out what the salary was until it was published in the hospital’s news news release.

Bartlett board president Kristen Bomengen said Wednesday that she was on a CEO “compensation package committee” with board vice president Bob Storer and board member Nathan Piemann. Hospital human resources director Mila Cosgrove also contributed to discussions on the compensation package, including hiring an Outside company to research average CEO salaries in Alaska and the U.S.

“The four of us worked together to establish parameters,” Bomengen said to the assembly.

Consultation firm JB Reward Systems determined that, nationwide, CEO salaries at not-for-profit hospitals Bartlett’s size average $324,100 — $408,500 if bonuses are included. The average Alaska CEO at hospitals of comparable size earns $300,900 — $370,200 including bonuses, according to a letter from the firm to Cosgrove. Based on this information, the committee settled on $315,000 as a starting point.

“We met several times to fine-tune it,” Storer said. “We then had Kristen and Mila contact the candidate and go from there.”

The signing bonus was tacked on during negotiations with Bill, Kristen said.

“When in negotiations it became clear that would make a difference,” she said. “It was part of what we had anticipated as part of the entire package. That was why we went with that.”

She said the committee called all Assembly members the weekend the contract was finalized. Assemblymembers Loren Jones, Karen Crane and Jesse Kiehl all confirmed they got a call and asked questions about the salary at that time.

“We worked over the weekend to ensure that the city manager was informed and that was taken care of by our HR manager,” Bomengen said. “Board members, three of us, decided which assembly members we would call. We knew that there could be some questions and some issue about what we were offering. It was certainly our intention that everyone have full information about it. If we weren’t able to achieve that, I will apologize.”

Wanamaker shook his head while Bomengen was speaking.

“I learned about the compensation through the media, but before even members of the media released it, members of the public were contacting me ... and they were not pleased with it,” he said. “Give the public the whole benefit of your reasoning.”

He said he would send more questions to the board instead of asking them during the meeting in the interest of time.

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