Thursday, April 17, 2008

County Board Is Where the Pay Is

If you want to be a part-time elected official, what office should you run for?

Inspired by a front page Northwest Herald story of what mayors and village presidents in McHenry County earn, I filed a Freedom of Information request to discover how much county board members are compensated.

Take a look at the chart (click to enlarge) I received:

The highest paid mayor was McHenry's Susan Low at $16,500. Algonquin's John Schmitt earned $15,000.

Relatively small Island Lake's head honcho Tom Hyde got $14,800.

Also $10,000 and more were Woodstock's Brian Sage, Ed Plaza of Lake in the Hills, Marengo's Don Lockhart, Harvard's Jay Noland and Union's Bob Wagner.

Clearly, if one wants to be a part-time public official and get paid pretty well for it, the office one should run for is county board.

Besides the $18.601.70 current annual salary, there's health insurance, if one wants it. That can be worth up to $17,050.56 this year for the family PPO. The lowest figure is for dental insurance only. And some members don't take any health benefits.

It does look as if county government has a pretty rich health benefits program.

You will note that McHenry County Board Chairman Ken Koehler is paid $74,406.02 this year.

And, there's the county contribution to a pension, which can be upgraded substantially, if one wins one of the countywide offices. The years in the relatively low paid office of county board count just as much as the ones in which one might be paid about $100,000.

And, although not all county board members utilize the newly approved $1,000 a person expense allowance, it is there for those who want to use it to pay for dinners that might otherwise be paid for out of one's own pocket.

Guess I ought to look at the salaries of township officials as well. Some of them get paid pretty well, too.

More than the county board members.

And township elections are next spring.

The informal picture of county board members comes from swearing in day, 2006. I think the others came from the McHenry County Republican Cat Tax meeting.

All images may be enlarged by clicking on them.

Posted first on McHenry County Blog.


DuPage Saint,  7:25 PM  

Check out DuPage, then look at their Forest Preserve Dist. everytime they raise the pay for the County Board, the Forest Preserve goes up too and without a vote because they get a per centage of county Board.

Anonymous,  10:35 AM  

Check out Kane County Board.

Salary plus per diem expenses for meetings attended and health care.

Some board members also serve on the Kane Board of Review and collect another salary for that in addition to two government pensions.

Some members known to come in for a few minutes and then bill taxpayers for meeting attendance.

Looking at raising the Chairman's salary to well over 100 thousand for a part time position.

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