DuPage Co., IL. (ECWd) -
Hold on for the ride, this one will take some reading.
The issue at hand is compensation for elected officials of DuPage County, spearheaded by Chairman Dan Cronin.
Let's start with the DuPage County Resolution setting the "salary" of county board members and the board chairman (HERE).
On June 3, 2014, the DuPage County Board approved Resolutions FI-R-0107-14 and FI-R-0108-14 , Salary Schedule for Members of the DuPage County Board and the Chairman respectively.
Within the Resolutions, the compensation was set at a specific dollar amount, for board members starting at $50,079 in 2014 and ending at $52,103 in 2017, and for the Chairman at $126,450 in 2014 and ending up at $131,559 in 2017.
The Resolutions fixed their compensation and they cannot receive anything else.
Relevant Statutes and Law
- The Counties Code, Section 2-3008, states that during reapportionment the county board selects the method of compensation, and if they want to change the method selected after reapportionment years, they must do so by Resolution or Ordinance, and only for board members, not for the chairman.
- The Counties Code, Section 4-10001, provides that the board sets the compensation of the board members.
- Sec. 4-10001.
County board members.
County board members elected pursuant to Division 2-3 shall receive such compensation as is fixed by the county board in accordance with "the method of compensation" selected by the county board. Such compensation shall be set before the general election at which county board members are elected. The chairman of the county board shall receive such additional compensation as determined by the county board in reapportioning the county.
County board members and the chairman of the county board are also entitled to travel and expense allowances as determined by the county board.
- Sec. 4-10001.
- The Illinois Constitution, Article VIII, Section 1(b) states that a public body can use public fund "only as authorized by law or ordinance".
- (b) The State, units of local government and school districts shall incur obligations for payment or make payments from public funds only as authorized by law or ordinance.
- Article XX, Section 20-101, of the Code of Civil Procedure defines "compensation" as including all the "fringe benefits" within that definition.
- 1) "Compensation, benefits or remuneration" includes regular compensation, overtime compensation, vacation compensation, deferred compensation, sick pay, disability pay, sick leave, disability leave, medical, dental, optical or other health benefits, pension or retirement benefits or any other pay, compensation, benefits, or any other remuneration.
- The Counties Code, Section 5-1069, Paragraph (a) says a county board "may" provide for insurance and paragraph (e) states elected and appointed officials are included in the term "employees" in this section.
- (e) The term "employees" as used in this Section includes elected or appointed officials but does not include temporary employees.
In the case of the DuPage County Board, the board "fixed their compensation in accordance with the method of compensation selected by the county board" as the Counties Code, Sections 2-3008 and 4-10001 provide. The Resolution complies with the Illinois Constitution, Article VIII, Section 1(b).
If all they received was the dollar amounts listed in the resolutions, everything would be fine, however, that is not what is happening.
The difference between the Resolutions and what they are actually receiving:
- Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF)
- Medical, Dental, and Vision Insurance
- Vehicle Allowance for certain elected officials
If the County Board had wanted to provide for insurance, IMRF, and Vehicle Allowances, they would have, and should have, placed it into the Resolutions setting their compensation.
No reasonable person would think elected officials could simply add all the perks they wanted at a later date without approval by Resolution.
This board told the public what they were paying board members and the chairman, and then turned around and added perks without proper notification, and without using the correct procedure. While the public thinks board members are receiving $50,079 per year, some have added IMRF and medical, dental, and vision insurance, and some even have a vehicle allowance, making it additional compensation without informing the public.
This is compensation in excess of the Resolution setting their compensation.
For those who have followed the mess at the College of DuPage, this is essentially no different then those COD trustees (prior to this current board) wining and dining at the Waterleaf and making you pay for it. They work without compensation, but thought it OK to feed their faces and get tanked up prior to meetings.