Palatine Township trustees this week voted to cut compensation for four elected positions while giving themselves the capacity for a bump in pay.
The board's unanimous decision will save the township about $15,000 annually during the four-year period starting after the April election.
"It was extravagant pay for what we're doing," Trustee Sharon Langlotz-Johnson said. "This will be a better representation of what the work is. It was the right thing to do."
The next supervisor will make $5,000 less -- the biggest reduction of the four cuts -- for a new salary of $21,000. The post also comes with a $1,000 salary for duties as road district treasurer.
The road district commissioner and assessor will make $20,000 each, decreases of $4,500 and $3,000 respectively. The clerk's salary will be $18,000 after the current fiscal year, a $3,000 decline in pay.
Meanwhile, trustees who are especially active can earn more in the future.
Their $5,000 annual salary remains the same, but stipends will double to $50 per meeting attended, for up to 36 meetings a year. The new system aims to better compensate trustees involved in multiple committees.
Langlotz-Johnson, who's running for supervisor in the April election, said officials discussed reducing salaries at last month's board meeting. The policy committee then met to consider several different proposals.
"I was actually pretty proud of us because it was a compromise," she said. "Nobody got exactly what they wanted."
The salary adjustments weren't necessary to balance the township's $2.4 million budget, but trustees wanted compensation to reflect the still sluggish economy.
Unlike the assessor, clerk and road commissioner, Supervisor Linda Fleming has a vote. She went along with trustees in voting for the changes but said it was only because dissenting wouldn't accomplish anything.
"They gave themselves a raise but cut everybody else's salary," Fleming said. "I have a problem with that."
Fleming, who hasn't decided whether she'll seek a third 4-year term, doesn't think the current board should have cut her position's salary because township supervisors put in varying degrees of work.
"I'm there early mornings and evenings, but how do (trustees) know the next supervisor won't treat it as full-time?" Fleming said. "For some supervisors, it's their only job."