Salary Increase Takes Effect After April Election
The next person to head up village government in Plainfield will see a small bump in salary.
On Sept. 19, members of the Plainfield Board of Trustees approved a motion to increase the compensation of the village president by $4,000, to $24,000 per year, effective after the April 2017 election.
“This has to be done every four years or it doesn’t take effect,” Trustee Bill Lamb said. “The last time it was increased was four years ago, so we’re talking about a 2.5 percent per year increase, which is roughly what the staff has been getting in recent years. So it’s not like it’s a 20 percent jump or a 10 percent jump.”
Lamb added that, as the face of Plainfield, the mayor deserves adequate compensation.
“I think it’s highly justified based on the fact that the mayor does a lot of work,” Lamb said. “He’s the visible face of the town… I think it’s important that he be reasonably compensated.”
Trustee James Racich said the mayoral salaries in comparable towns are much higher than Plainfield.
“This job is 24-7; Mayor [Michael] Collins is on call seven days a week, 365 days a year,” he said “The buck stops at his office door. You have to contend not only with the good, but also with the bad.”
Racich also reminded the board that the increase doesn’t happen until the next administration is sworn into office.
According to the Constitution of the State of Illinois, “an increase or decrease in salary of an elected officer of any unit of local government shall not take effect during the term for which that officer is elected.”
Racich noted that the current mayor is not voting to give himself a raise, since it wouldn’t take effect until after the mayoral election in April. He added that the average person who works at McDonald’s would make about $88 per day, while the Plainfield mayor makes roughly $66 dollars per day with this increase.
“Who has the most important position, the man who’s passing out hamburgers or the man who’s running the government,” Rachich said. “I think this compensation is warranted.”
Two trustees were missing from the meeting, and the vote was not unanimous.
Lamb and Racich voted for the raise, while trustees Edward O’Rourke and Brian Wojowski voted against the raise. That left Mayor Collins as the tie-breaking vote in favor of the pay raise.
The last pay increase happened in the 2013-14 fiscal year, when the mayoral compensation went from $12,000 to $20,000. Village officials noted that the board had gone through two election cycles without approving an increase in compensation for the mayor.
“No one runs for the money,” Lamb said.
The trustee added that village board members have not seen a bump in pay in nearly a decade.
Meanwhile, the board approved a motion to spend up to $15,050 on improvements at the board room at village hall.
According to staff, there have been a number of requests to improve the sound quality in the room, which is the main site for bi-monthly board meetings, as well as other village meetings throughout the month.
New equipment will reconfigure “sound zones” inside the room, allowing trustees, commissioners and audience members to hear meetings better. Sound control will also be integrated into the system.