DuPage reviewing salaries of elected leaders

Updated 4/26/2016 7:16 PM

Several elected DuPage County officials could get pay bumps over the next two years to keep them in line with what other officials receive.

The county board next month is expected to set pay scales for the auditor, coroner, recorder, circuit court clerk and six county board members for the fiscal years 2017 through 2020. The key issue is whether those officials -- all of whom are up for election in November -- should get 2 percent pay raises for fiscal 2017, which starts Dec. 1, and for fiscal 2018.


Supporters say the raises are appropriate because the board agreed two years ago to give 2 percent salary increases during each of those two years to the county's other elected officials.

"The question is, do we keep everybody the same so that all the board members are making the same?" board member Brian Krajewski said during a Tuesday finance committee meeting.

County board members now make $50,079 a year. They also are eligible to receive health insurance and a pension through the county.

As for the countywide officials, the auditor, coroner and recorder each make $139,835 a year. The circuit court clerk is paid $155,958 annually. All four also get a $6,500 annual stipend from the Department of Revenue.

The last time county board members got a pay raise was in 2008. In 2010, the board actually reduced its pay from $51,581 a year to the current $50,079.

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Still, at least one county board member says she won't support any proposed pay hike for board members.

Elizabeth Chaplin, one of those who would benefit from the raises, said DuPage board members already are paid more than board members in Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties. Will County Board members, for example, are paid $23,000 a year.

"We're asking our other departments to follow ... what other counties are doing," Chaplin said. "How can we then justify giving ourselves increases when we're so far ahead of everybody else to begin with?"

She said it would "look bad" to approve a pay increase when many DuPage families aren't getting raises.

"It really is not the right thing to do at this time," she said.

State law requires the salaries of county board members and countywide elected officials to be established at least 180 days before the beginning of their terms.

State's Attorney Robert Berlin is up for re-election this year, but the amount of his annual salary is determined by the state, officials said. He is paid $166,508 a year.

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