No Pay Raises for DuPage County Board
The DuPage County Board has voted to not give board members a pay raise for the next four years. Tonia Khouri was among the three board members to vote against pay raises for countywide elected officials.
Here is the original story as reported by Naperville Sun:
No pay raises for DuPage County Board members but countywide elected officials to get 2% hike
DuPage County Board members voted Tuesday to freeze their salaries for the next four years, but countywide elected officials will receive a 2 percent increase annually for the next two years.
County Board members are paid $52,102 a year, and that amount won’t change through 2022.
The pay hikes for sheriff, county clerk, treasurer and regional superintendent of schools will kick in July 1, 2019, and July 1, 2020. There will be no increases in 2021 and 2022.
The DuPage County sheriff’s current salary is $168,100, plus a $6,500 state stipend and a $5,400 vehicle allowance. The new raise adds $3,362 to the package.
The county clerk and treasurer each receive $145,485 a year, plus the same state stipend and vehicle allowance. Starting July 1, 2019, each will be paid an additional $2,910.
The county’s portion of the regional superintendent of schools’ salary will increase from $32,594 to $33,246, under the 2019 bump. Including the office’s state salary and vehicle allowance, the superintendent’s current pay is $150,002.
Officials said pay raises for the countywide elected offices were made to provide a consistent salary for the four officials over their terms of office.
“This keeps them on the same pay level they previously had for the first two years of their terms,” Finance Committee Vice Chairman Jim Zay said. “But there’s a zero increase for ’21 and ’22. Looking at our financial situation and comparing to the other collar counties, we thought that their compensation was adequate and that’s what the board could pass.”
Board members Elizabeth Chaplin, Tonia Khouri and Brian Krajewski voted against the pay increases.
“There’s no justification for giving out those raises,” Chaplin said. “Our county-wides are some of the highest-paid in the state.”
“They do a fantastic job, but I think they’re already very well compensated and money is getting tighter and tighter for us,” Khouri said. “We were $3 million short from the state this year, so we need to watch every dollar. For me, it’s an economic issue.”
In 2016, County Board members voted themselves 2 percent pay increases, which went into effect in December of that year and again in December of last year.
Critics have charged that board salaries are too high in comparison with other nearby counties. Others, however, say the pay is in line with other counties when viewed on a per capita basis.
“We understand these are tough times and we don’t feel it’s appropriate to give a pay raise to ourselves,” County Board Chairman Dan Cronin said. “We work very hard, we’ve cut our budget, we’ve cut taxes, we’ve reduced headcount and we’ve got a very compelling story to tell about good government here. We’re not in it for the money, we’re in it to serve.”