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June 29, 2022

Thornton Township’s Crazy and Possibly Unlawful Elected Official Salary Schedule –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On May 24, 2022

Thornton Township, IL. (ECWd) –

After reviewing the Thornton Township Elected Official Compensation Resolution, dated September 8, 2020, it is clear there is an attempt at limiting the number of people who wish to run for office. It is also clear to us this attempt violates the letter and intent of laws established calling for the setting of compensation of the offices of township trustee, township supervisor, township assessor, and township clerk.

Thornton Township came up with a salary “scale” based on the number of terms served in a particular office. We would really like to speak to the attorney who thought this was a good idea.

Here is how crazy this gets according to the Resolution:

  • Township Supervisor pay ranges from $48,400.00 to $202,950.00 depending on how many terms of office and the wishes of the township board for a full-time or part-time supervisor.
  • Township Assessors receive a range from $29,225.00 to $101,075.00 depending on which term of office they are in.
  • Township Clerks receive a range from $17,825.00 to $59,635.00 depending on which term of office they are in.
  • Township Trustees receive a range from $11,195.00 to $41,540.00 depending on which term of office they are in.
  • Township Road Commissioner receive a range from $17,825.00 to $59,635.00 depending on which term of office they are in.
  • Monthly Expense Reimbursements are similar with around a $2000.00 per month difference depending on the position held.

According to the meeting minutes when this resolution was approved, the township clerk “commended” the former supervisor (who already made a salary of more a than $202K per year, plus $59,400 for expenses, plus outrageous travel expense reimbursements, and insurance) for his “unusual and commendable decision” to not receive another pay raise, and the Assessor agreed.

Here are the problems as we see them:

  • There is no such thing as a part-time township supervisor, no matter what the township board thinks about it. A supervisor is a supervisor, and the township board cannot dictate full or part-time and cannot dictate the hours spent at work, no matter what the resolution says.
  • A Supervisor, Clerk, and Assessor’s salary are set on a dollar amount, not based on their number of terms in office.
  • ALL Trustees must receive the exact same compensation as other trustees – no matter how many terms of office they have held. Imagine a first-term trustee getting $11K for doing the exact same trustee job as the person sitting next to him or her who gets $41K – a $30K per year difference just in salary – then add the other perks and the pay gap widens. This cannot be allowed to continue.
  • ALL Trustees must receive the exact same allowable monthly expense reimbursements – no matter how many terms of office they have held.
  • The same goes for Supervisors, Clerks, and Assessors. A Township cannot base their pay on how many terms of the office they have held – it does a disservice to anyone who might think about running for the office in the future, and obviously protects the person(s) currently serving multiple terms of office.
  • Travel Expense Allowances: The Resolution authorizes transportation plus lodging plus per diem – while the GSA Per Diem Schedule lists different rates for lodging, or meals, and incidentals. GSA meals and incidentals are significantly lower than Thornton Township’s listed rates of between $250 and $600 per day (the highest in IL is $59.20 – $79.00 per day in Cook County).

We urge every trustee currently getting paid less than any other trustee to file a lawsuit to obtain all of your back-pay and monthly expense allowances you were shorted as part of this resolution.

Thornton Twp Compensation

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3 Comments
  • dave
    Posted at 11:03h, 24 May Reply

    Incredible! On the bright side, it seems like a great incentive to vote new officers every term or two. Thanks.

  • Bob Anderson
    Posted at 07:07h, 25 May Reply

    Illinois’ 1,433 township governments??? A political Tar-Pit of Corruption, Cronyism, Nepotism, Patronage and WASTE!!! Why are those running for governor, senator, and representative silent on their campaign trails about township consolidation/elimination??? Is there township campaign funding involved??? Most states and 17 Illinois counties do not have township government on their tax bills. Start asking those who want to rule Springfield if they are township supporters and if they are supporters, why?

    • dave
      Posted at 14:31h, 25 May Reply

      Well said, Bob. Cheers.

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