DuPage Forest Commissioners vote their salary to 172% of neighboring Preserve Districts
Wheaton, IL – May 15, 2012 – DuPage Forest Preserve Commissioners withheld public comment at their regularly scheduled Tuesday morning meeting until after voting on their own salary package.
The six commissioners gave themselves a 3% compounded annual salary increase in May of 2008, bringing their current payout for the part-time position to $56,912 a year, not including taxpayer funded pension and healthcare benefits.
Preserve District President Pierotti currently receives about $107,000 a year with benefits and a monthly car allowance. The most recently elected Commissioner, Linda Painter of Willowbrook, has received a 13.8% salary increase since elected in 2008 and will be eligible for a public pension if reelected this November.
Commissioners voted for a 6.2% decrease in salary, to $53,500, leaving healthcare and pension benefits unchanged.
Initial discussions about reducing compensation for the elected officials took place in early October of 2011, with Commissioner Joseph Cantore of Oak Brook citing that the District hasasked “employees to make sacrifices” and asking, “How do we not ask the same of ourselvesas elected officials?”
Westmont resident and candidate for Commissioner in District 3, Steven Leopoldo pledged to refuse the taxpayer funded pension and stated Tuesday that he would serve as a full-time commissioner at a reduced salary.
Following Tuesday’s vote, Leopoldo said, “The current salary still places DuPage Commissioners as the highest paid Forest Preserve commissioners in the State, way out ofline with comparable systems like Lake County where less than four thousand dollars a year isbudgeted for each commissioner.”