Our city council’s recent vote to nearly double their pay (albeit at the sacrifice of medical coverage) was both surprising and unfortunate. Only recently did our council choose to decline pension benefits because most were uncomfortable stating that they worked the 20 hours per week needed to qualify for pension benefits. If the job doesn’t clearly require the 20 hours needed to qualify for pension benefits, why would it qualify for the more lucrative medical coverage which is supposed to only be given to full time (over 30 hour per week ) employees?
Many councilmen stated that they feared people could not, or would not, serve on council should medical coverage simply be eliminated. One brief look around our community should make it clear that such a fear is unfounded. Naperville has thrived in large part because there is no shortage of residents willing to donate their time, talents, and treasure to community causes. Our school board races are traditionally very competitive yet provide no pay whatsoever. Many residents serve on demanding city commissions without compensation. Maybe most importantly, board members of any of the dozens of Naperville’s large not-for-profits serve for no pay.
Our council should have terminated medical coverage and left the pay where it previously had been. Naperville would have no problem finding high quality councilmen…with or without medical benefits or increased pay. To believe otherwise is to underestimate our residents’ commitment to service.
1708 Chalmette Court, Naperville