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Speak Out: Council Vote to Increase Pay Unfortunate

Kevin Coyne
Kevin Coyne

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.

Kevin Coyne

1708 Chalmette Court, Naperville   

Gerard Schilling April 22, 2014 at 05:06 PM
They take away with one hand the health care benefits and on the other double their salary. To make matters worse the guy who thinks he is going to be the next Mayor makes a motion to raise that salary from 25 to 40k. Talk about ethics briefings, yearly mandated by state law, which the ex-chief lawyer said didn't apply. What the heck if a non-police chief, police chief can collect both a 104k pension and a 148k salary for doing the same thing what’s the problem(s)? At some point maybe people will say enough is enough and basically flush the toilet on these guys. Next election, since they are all up, would be a great opportunity as long as people can stop them from throwing out the election petitions as they did with the smart meter referendum.
Southeast Side April 22, 2014 at 05:39 PM
Even if they only work 10 hours a week, they deserve to be compensated. Otherwise, only the wealthy and/or retired would be able to serve on the council. $25K for 1/4 time without benefits is a pretty good compromise.
Southeast Side April 22, 2014 at 05:42 PM
Also - if they don't get compensated, they will be serving their own interests ( like say they are a lawyer who represents folks who come in from the council and/or zoning board and they can make money giving "legal" advice ). I'd prefer council members who serve ALL of the citizens, and not just the ones who pay.
Voice of The People April 22, 2014 at 08:07 PM
@southeast side - What exactly does that say about the past and current council members? What does that say about the school board, the PUAB, the Zoning Board? To assume that someone who decides to donate their time is only doing it because they are rich, retired or have something personal to gain, is faulty logic at best.
Kevin Piket April 23, 2014 at 10:25 AM
Southeast Side, the people who serve on the various School Boards and Park Boards don't get paid and they do as much work as the City Council does. In fact the School District portion of our tax bill is much larger than the City's portion. For you to say that people who get elected to the City Council and don't get paid would "serve their own interests" is disingenuous and just plain wrong. If people are going to serve their own interest, they will do it whether they get paid or not. It's more about who they are as a person than if they get paid for serving or not.

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