County Board to vote on pay boost

County Board to vote on pay boost

By Shellie Berg

By Shellie Berg

Staff Reporter

On Thursday, June 28, Winnebago County Board members will vote on whether they will award themselves a nearly 50 percent pay increase.

The increases would go from $5,000 to $7,500 and begin in December 2002. In 2008, the salaries would rise to $9,000.

The salary for committee chairmen would jump from $5,500 to $8,500 in 2002. They would hike to $9,500 in 2008.

The County Board created a Compensation Committee, a subcommittee of the Executive Committee chaired by Sue McDonald and consisting of County Board members Polly Berg (D-7) and Randy Sturm (R-5). A meeting was held June 7 to discuss options.

The county is planning another Compensation Committee meeting sometime next week before the County Board meeting. The proposed salaries could change, Sturm said.

McDonald indicated the last time that the County Board reviewed compensation was 10 years ago. The current salaries remain as the same as they were 11 years ago.

County Board members can only get an increase every 10 years after the census is compiled. “If you don’t do it now, you can’t do it,” Sturm stated. “It’s much less than the other county boards get. I don’t think they’re totally out of line—no. I don’t think they’re out of line for County Board members that really work at their job.”

But board member and frequent board critic Pete MacKay believes the raises are unfair. “I’m not going to support it,” he said. “I think it’s wrong. These people like to make a big thing out of public service. If it was public service, they would do what the school board members do. They would not accept a salary.

“I heard all this posturing about the hours they spend. If they don’t like it, they shouldn’t do it. We’ve got the levies maxed right now, and they’re dancing around right now trying to find tax increase money to pay themselves.”

For the committee chairmen, “what is really interesting is it’s going to be the same people,” MacKay stated. “Just a few people are looting the public treasury or attempting to.”

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