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updated: 4/2/2014 8:45 PM

Naperville looking at ending pension for mayor's job

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Naperville City Council members who recently declared themselves ineligible for pensions are poised to make that same change for the mayor's job.

During initial discussions of changing the mayor's salary after the spring 2015 election, council members on Tuesday also said they want to end participation in the Illinois Municipal Retirement System for the city's top elected official.

They could do so by approving a resolution that says fulfilling the duties of mayor does not require 1,000 hours of work a year -- the minimum for a job to be eligible in the IMRF.

Council member Steve Chirico said there should be consistency between the positions of council members and the mayor, and neither should be eligible for retirement benefits.

"They're both part time, so in fairness, I think that would be the proper way of doing it ... to eliminate the IMRF portion of the package," Chirico said.

Council members on March 4 deleted pensions from the list of benefits they receive and amended the city code to reflect the change, which took effect immediately. They ended pension participation after an IMRF audit in which a majority of council members declared that fulfilling the duties of their office does not require them to work at least 1,000 hours a year.

Even if the council votes to make a similar declaration about the position of mayor, the change will not affect current Mayor George Pradel, City Attorney Margo Ely said. Pradel has been grandfathered in under previous regulations that only require 600 hours of work a year in order to be pension eligible.

If Pradel were to run again in 2015 and win re-election, he could continue participating in IMRF and contributing toward future benefits. But action the council could take at its meeting April 15 could make the mayor's position ineligible for pension participation if someone else wins in 2015 or whenever Pradel steps down.

Pradel previously has said he will not run for another term, and during Tuesday's meeting, he laughed and called the idea of seeking re-election an "April fool."

Other proposed pay changes for the mayor/liquor commissioner job include rolling separate cellphone and Internet stipends into the salary and increasing the pay to $31,500 from $30,070. The new salary would include $25,500 for the position of mayor and $6,000 for liquor commissioner.

Council member Robert Fieseler said total compensation should be increased to $35,000 because that represents one-third of the $105,000 median salary of Naperville residents, and it would take at least one-third of a person's time to serve as mayor.

"I thought that was right based on the time commitment and the desire to encourage people who are still in their careers to run and to seek the position," Fieseler said.

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