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updated: 9/12/2012 3:56 PM

Roselle mayor, clerk get pay boost

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  • Gayle Smolinski

      Gayle Smolinski

  • Patty Burns

      Patty Burns

 

Roselle's mayor will get a $3,000-a-year pay increase next year, while the salary of the village clerk is poised to increase by 50 percent.

The mayor's salary was approved this week by the village board and the clerk's is expected to pass later this month. Both will take effect in May after local elections, as elected officials cannot raise their own salaries while in office.

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The passed measure calls for a flat $25,000 salary for the top elected post. Previously, Village President Gayle Smolinski had been making $22,000 a year -- a $12,000 salary plus up to $10,000 in bonuses for attending board and committee meetings and other village events.

The village clerk's salary was approved in a committee meeting and is slated to be increased by the village board from $26,000 to $39,000. At both board and committee levels, Trustees Barbara Rendall-Hochstadt, Wayne Domke, Andy Maglio and Terrence Wittman voted in favor of the raises, while Trustees Kory Atkinson and Ron Baker opposed them.

Officials argued the mayor's pay increase was appropriate because it has been unchanged since 2000.

"Percentage-wise, per year, it's a 1.05 percent raise since 2000," said Wittman. "So I don't think that that's unreasonable. That position, while it used to be much more part-time, you really do spend more time than that."

Smolinski said mayoral duties demand about 30 hours per week, making it tough for the village president to hold down a full-time job.

In addition, the village clerk was formerly a full-time post with higher pay and the clerk was assisted by a full-time administrative assistant.

Smolinski said officials voted to change this in 2008, because they felt the clerk's job could be done in 20 hours per week for $26,000 per year.

"We said we would revisit it if it was inadequate," she said.

Within the past year, Roselle leaders implemented suggestions made in an independent financial study by Sikich, LLP, which included reducing the clerk's administrative assistant to a part-time post. As a result, Smolinski said, Village Clerk Patty Burns has been putting in more than 30 hours per week.

"As with any good elected official, she puts in a few extra hours," Smolinski said. "But this was going beyond 30 hours per week to take care not only of clerk duties, but increased (Freedom of Information Act) requests."

Wittman added that the change "isn't a raise."

"It's pay commensurate to time," he said.

Trustees agreed to make no charges to their own pay, which is currently less than $6,000 per year.

Atkinson said he voted against the other pay increases because he is concerned about the village's budget crunch.

"My feeling is that the village of Roselle is facing a hill of $400,000 structural deficit and we are going into collective bargaining end of this year and beginning of next year," Atkinson said. "I think it sends the wrong message to our residents and employees about the state of the village's finances."

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