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updated: 5/23/2012 10:28 AM

DuPage County Board members freezetheir pay

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DuPage County Board members and four countywide elected officials won't get a pay raise for at least another four years.

Board members agreed Tuesday night to keep their salaries unchanged through the end of November 2016. Nearly all of them make $50,079 annually. If he wins re-election, board member Grant Eckhoff will continuing earning $48,620 a year for the job.

"Given the economy -- given what the taxpayers have gone through -- I don't think any kind of raises would be appropriate," board member Robert Larsen said.

The unanimous vote came two years after pay for board members was reduced. But in a surprise move Tuesday, the board also froze the salaries of the county auditor, coroner, circuit court clerk and recorder of deeds. The salary schedule for those elected positions are set every four years.

The auditor, coroner and recorder of deeds positions each make $139,835 a year. The circuit court clerk is paid $155,958 annually.

"The consensus of the board is to freeze the pay for all elected officials as a recognition of the economic situation," board member Paul Fichtner said. "We just feel it's appropriate at this time."

County Auditor Bob Grogan, who is expected to run unopposed during November's general election, said he has no objection to the decision.

"I'm adequately compensated, and times are tough," Grogan said. "I know that other people have had their pay frozen. So I'm not complaining."

When asked if he was consulted about the salary schedule, Grogan said none of the countywide elected officials was notified.

"I didn't know about it until I read it on the agenda," he said.

Board member Dirk Enger said a recent analysis showed that DuPage's countywide elected officials generally make more money than their counterparts in neighboring counties.

"They are collecting a six-figure salary that definitely is more than generous," Enger said.

Larsen said he believes the existing county auditor, coroner, circuit court clerk and recorder of deeds have done a good job managing their departments. Still, he added, all of the county's elected officials are "well-compensated" for the work they do.

"I think we'll be OK," Larsen said. "And I think the taxpayers will appreciate our holding the line on spending."

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