Salary increase for countywide elected officials approved, no increase for board members

Many County Board members were hoping to see changes made to their benefits plan

McHenry County Board members tackled the issue of their own pay and future salaries for countywide elected officials Tuesday.

Board members continued to disagree over the best way to approach benefits for themselves during Tuesday’s board meeting. Several members argued the plan for board members to continue with their same benefits structure and $21,000 salary created too much inequality between board members and the county’s part-time employees.

Board member Tanya Jindrich, D-Crystal Lake, said the resolution should be tabled to allow for some differences of opinion to be worked out, which she said could potentially save the county thousands on benefits expenses for board members.

“I believe everybody on this board really does want to come to some common ground, and I think that we can if we have a little bit more time,” Jindrich said.

Board members voted against pushing the resolution off to October and instead approved it in a 15-9 vote, keeping the salary and benefits the same for board members for the next ten years.

There was also some push back on a resolution setting salaries for countywide elected officials for the next decade, though it was still approved in a 19-5 vote.

The proposal passed increases salaries for the sheriff, clerk, treasurer, coroner, auditor, circuit clerk and County Board chairman by 2% to 9% from their current amounts. Over the next 10 years, they will also see annual increases tied to inflation, but not to exceed 3%.

“I understand the need to increase salaries, but my point is I don’t think anyone should have a guaranteed increase year after year,” said board member Kelli Wegener, D-Crystal Lake.

The board also passed resolutions authorizing a pandemic-related bonus to Animal Control employees, development of an app for the sheriff’s office, and flood mitigation plans along the Fox River and Nippersink Creek in an unanimous vote.

Ben Szalinski

Ben Szalinski

Ben reports on local news in Harvard, Marengo, Huntley and Lake in the Hills along with the McHenry County Board. He graduated from the University of Illinois Springfield Public Affairs Reporting program in 2021. Ben is originally from Mundelein and enjoys outdoor activities and spending time with friends and family.