$20,000 pay raise in works for Naperville parks director

  • Ray McGury

    Ray McGury

  • Naperville Park District Executive Director Ray McGury has overseen projects such as a renovation of the bathhouse at Centennial Beach since joining the district in 2008. He could be in line for a raise to a $190,000 base salary if commissioners approve a contract extension Thursday night.

      Naperville Park District Executive Director Ray McGury has overseen projects such as a renovation of the bathhouse at Centennial Beach since joining the district in 2008. He could be in line for a raise to a $190,000 base salary if commissioners approve a contract extension Thursday night. Daniel White | Staff Photographer November 2011

  • The Knoch Knolls Nature Center is one of several large projects completed since Ray McGury became executive director of the Naperville Park District in 2008.

      The Knoch Knolls Nature Center is one of several large projects completed since Ray McGury became executive director of the Naperville Park District in 2008. Paul Michna | Staff Photographer October 2014

  • A renovation completed in 2011 to Nike Sports Complex on Mill Street is one of the major projects Naperville Park District Executive Director Ray McGury has overseen since joining the district in 2008. Park board commissioners are scheduled to vote Thursday on a potential extension to McGury's contract that would raise his base salary to $190,000.

      A renovation completed in 2011 to Nike Sports Complex on Mill Street is one of the major projects Naperville Park District Executive Director Ray McGury has overseen since joining the district in 2008. Park board commissioners are scheduled to vote Thursday on a potential extension to McGury's contract that would raise his base salary to $190,000. Scott Sanders | Staff Photographer July 2011

 
 
Updated 4/29/2015 5:25 PM

Naperville Park District commissioners are expected to vote Thursday on a contract extension for Executive Director Ray McGury that could raise his base annual salary by roughly $20,000 to $190,000.

The topic is the only item on the agenda for the public section of a special meeting set for 7 p.m. Thursday at 320 W. Jackson Ave.

 

The proposed contract amendment would raise McGury's pay from the $169,744 he is making now, according to the 2015 employee salary list on the park district's website. It also would give him incentives, in the form of different amounts of guaranteed severance pay, to stay with the park district until the end of 2018 or the end of 2020, said Derke Price, the park district's attorney.

Park board commissioners were reluctant to discuss details of the proposed contract extension before the scheduled vote. But some on the board expressed support for McGury's work leading the district since 2008 through successful projects such as construction of the Knoch Knolls Nature Center and renovations to Nike Sports Complex and the Centennial Beach bath house.

"Ray has been an excellent executive director and has served the park district and the community well," Commissioner Rich Janor said Wednesday. "We feel that retaining key personnel is very important at this time for continuity of leadership."

The park district started construction earlier this month on the largest project in its history, the $24 million Fort Hill Activity Center. Janor said he wants to keep McGury around to complete the job.

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"Ray has proved his ability to get projects like this done on time and under budget," Janor said. "We think he's the right leader for the park district moving forward."

McGury, 54, said he would prefer not to comment about the potential contract extension until after the board acts on it.

If the extension is approved, McGury will continue to receive 2 percent pay increases each year. But the amount he receives each year as deferred compensation, which is the equivalent of an employer contribution to a 401(k) retirement account, would increase to $10,000 instead of $6,000.

If McGury stays until the end of 2018, he would receive no less than three months of severance pay, but if he stays through the end of 2020, that severance would increase to no less than six months' worth.

Price said he researched compensation for executives from comparable park districts, other municipal governments and private-sector businesses before he and the board set the terms of the possible extension. Price said McGury has gotten requests to take jobs leading other organizations such as the DuPage County Forest Preserve District, but the incentives in the contract extension could discourage him from pursuing those opportunities.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"The board is very focused on continuity of service and leadership, so they're doing what they can within the law and within marketplace reasonableness to incentivize him to stay," Price said.

Commissioners Ron Ory and Marie Todd both said they support McGury's work with the district. Todd said she thinks the potential contract terms are fair given McGury's experience.

"I think he's certainly proven his value to the community and to the park district," Todd said. "So I think the raise is appropriate."

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