Most Avon Township officials again have returned pay raises that were in place when they took office in 2009.
Supervisor Sam Yingling and five political allies presented a $16,633 check at a township board meeting this month.
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Yingling's Avon Forward political team made the raises a campaign issue in the 2009 election. The slate ran against Avon One, headed by former township supervisor Shirley Christian.
During the campaign, Avon One contended Yingling and the Avon Forward trustee candidates were prohibited by state law from revoking the pay raises the township board set for the elected officials.
Instead of rescinding the pay hikes after joining the board in May 2009, Yingling and a majority of his teammates have returned the money each year.
Highway Commissioner Thomas Brust, Clerk Lisa Rusch and trustees Chris Ditton, Marc Feldstein and Randy Evangelides went along with Yingling in publicly returning the $16,633 from this year's raises.
"With our constituents struggling in the worst economic climate since the Great Depression, we as elected officials must do everything we can to reduce the tax burden on our residents," Yingling said.
Trustee William McNeill, who ran with the rival Avon One slate, hasn't joined the Yingling team in publicly returning the roughly $80 extra in annual township pay.
Former Avon Township Assessor Bryce Carus ran on Yingling's slate but never returned his raise after he took office in January 2010. He was replaced with an interim assessor after citing health reasons for quitting in June. Yingling will eventually name a permanent replacement.
Officials say a cumulative $30,000 in pay raises have been returned to township coffers. A little more than 50 percent of that total came from Yingling, who is a full-time supervisor.
Avon Township encompasses all or part of Grayslake, Hainesville, Round Lake, Round Lake Beach, Round Lake Park, Round Lake Heights, Third Lake and unincorporated Lake County.