McHenry County health administrator to receive bonus for pandemic work

McHenry County Board previously approved pandemic pay for other health department employees, not including administrator

McHenry County Public Health Administrator Melissa Adamson will be receiving a bonus for “exceptional sacrifice and service” during the pandemic thanks to a County Board resolution.

The McHenry County Board approved a resolution on Tuesday night authorizing a one-time recognition payment for Adamson of $9,358.

Adamson said she is “so appreciative [and] really grateful to have that recognition and acknowledgement.”

According to the board’s resolution, which passed on a 17-4 vote, Adamson was not a part of last month’s pandemic recognition pay that she worked to get to health department employees.

“The Board of Health has determined that the Public Health Administrator should also receive recognition pay for her exemplary leadership during the pandemic,” according to the resolution.

In June, the McHenry County Board approved allocating $249,072 of $59.7 million the county received as part of the federal relief package approved by Congress in March toward health department employees’ compensation for the added hours, responsibilities, stress and hard work they put in during the pandemic.

Board member Jeff Schwartz was skeptical about giving a bonus to just one county employee for their work over the last year and half.

“I know there was lots of extra work put in in dealing with what we had to deal with,” Schwartz said. “However, I feel that all of the administers in the county are very well compensated in comparison to the rank and file, and I feel the folks we represent would not approve of this. It’s nothing personal, but I think this should not be approved.”

Adamson’s base salary is $134,225, according to county records.

Her ability to receive annual merit pay increases will not be impacted by the bonus, according to the resolution.