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Article posted: 4/2/2013 12:01 AM

Wheeling village manager gets contract improvements

By Deborah Donovan

Wheeling Village Manager Jon Sfondilis received a 3.3 percent raise Monday night, along with an extension of severance pay if terminated and tuition and costs for a master's degree in public administration.

The board also approved a drive-through Starbucks on the south side of Lake-Cook Road at Lexington Drive, east of Route 83.

Sfondilis' new salary is $155,000. He has worked for the village for 20 years and kept the same salary of $136,000 when he was promoted from assistant village manager in January 2011. A year later the board gave him a raise to $150,000, which officials said was more in line with what other top administrators in the area were making.

The nine-month severance pay is up from six months in the original contract, and the increase is also in line with comparable communities, according to a memo from Village Attorney James V. Ferolo.

Sfondilis earned a master's degree in business administration without financial help from the village before becoming manager, the memo said, and knowledge gained with the second degree will benefit the village.

The amendment was tabled without comment at the board's March 18 meeting. Sfondilis, who lives in Elgin, also receives a $500 a month vehicle allowance.

The Starbucks at 1085 Lake Road will occupy about half of a new 4,188-square-foot building where the Women's Health Center stood in an outlot of the shopping center. It will have indoor and outdoor seating.

Trustee Ken Brady said many of the details about the coffee house were unclear and he wanted the question put off to a future meeting. He was the only trustee who voted against granting a special use for the Starbucks.

The Plan Commission approved the project on a 5-2 vote after hearing from two residents who expressed concern about traffic and trash.

An occupant has not been obtained for the other half of the building.

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