Naperville city councilmen make less than $12,000 a year but this week each councilman and Mayor Pradel had the chance to give themselves a raise of about $300. Councilman Hinterlong and Mayor Pradel took their 2.7% cost-of-living raises, but say they plan to give a portion of it back to the community.
“I try to make it a point to put a lot back into the community,” said Hinterlong. “I would say last year I gave back about 45% of my net income from the city to the charities in town.”
Councilman Krause also took his raise, but said it’s because he never files expense reports despite doing a lot of traveling on the job. Councilman Fieseler took his, but for different reasons.
“The compensation for public officials, at least under state law, can not be increased or decreased while they’re in office,” said Fieseler. “It’s my desire to see that the law be followed.”
Councilmen Brodhead, Chirico, Miller, McElroy and Wehrli all filed paperwork to decline their raises.
“I think that at a minimum I should do what we’ve asked our staff to do, which is not take an increase the last two years,” said Miller.
Council salaries aren’t the only financial costs to taxpayers. Each of the councilmen and the mayor are also eligible for city benefits that include medical, dental, and cell phone reimbursement, among others.
“As elected officials, the city council has a choice as to whether or not they will participate in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund,” said Doug Krieger, City Manager. “That is basically the same program that applies to all city employees.”
Every councilman participates in some form of the benefits package. That means the average cost to employ a councilman is about $22,000 a year including benefits, but each of them say it can be a full-time job.
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