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updated: 4/15/2014 4:19 PM

Nomination could double commission stipend for Amrich campaign supporter

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A politically connected Island Lake resident who last week was named to a paid position on the village's fire and police commission has been nominated to serve as its secretary, which would double her stipend for service.

In an interview, however, Debra Jenkins said she will turn down the secretary appointment.

Jenkins replaced Laurie Rabattini on the commission. Rabattini, a former trustee, was appointed to the panel last year and served as its secretary.

"I can only assume they thought I was taking over Laurie's job," Jenkins said. "I may do it in a year or so, but I don't know enough about the job to take it on."

Jenkins will complete Rabattini's term, which expires in June. She'll then be eligible for appointment to a full term.

Members of the three-member commission are paid $30 for each meeting they attend. The secretary is paid an additional $30 per meeting.

Jenkins has pledged to donate whatever pay she receives for the job to the village's police pension fund, which has been dramatically underfunded in recent years.

The village board voted 4-2 to name Jenkins to the commission. Trustees Thea Morris and Shannon Fox opposed the nomination.

Jenkins and her husband, Greg, donated generously to Mayor Charles Amrich's campaign committee last year. Debra Jenkins also served as the campaign committee's treasurer for a while after Amrich took office in May 2013.

State campaign finance reports show the Jenkinses donated nearly $21,000 in money, services and goods to Amrich's For the People slate, more than any other supporter. The slate also included trustees Keith Johns, Mark Beeson and Tony Sciarrone and Clerk Teresa Ponio.

Shortly after Amrich and his allies took office, Greg Jenkins settled a libel lawsuit he filed against the village last summer for $20,000. His complaint focused on a political website a supporter of former Mayor Debbie Herrmann had created.

Greg and Debra Jenkins haven't just supported Amrich's campaign, they've also cut checks to the village that covered police equipment and food for community events, among other purchases.

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