Will County Board panel votes to not raise elected officials’ salaries

Board members already voted down a raise to their own pay

Joe VanDuyne addresses the Will County Board's Public Works and Transportation Committee on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019, during a debate on implementing a county-wide 4 to 8 cent gas tax.

A Will County Board committee voted to not give countywide elected officials a pay boost.

Democrats and Republicans on the Executive Committee voted to keep officials’ salaries at their present levels during a meeting Wednesday.

Member Joe VanDuyne, D-Wilmington, made a motion to keep the salaries the same, after doing the same earlier this month for board members’ pay.

“I didn’t think it was a good idea to give County Board members a raise during this time and I feel the same way about our countywide officials,” he said.

Minority Leader Mike Fricilone, R-Homer Glen, said he agreed with VanDuyne’s motion.

Most countywide elected officials, such as the executive and clerk, make a base salary of a little more than $93,000. Combined with their health benefits, they receive a total compensation package of about $117,000.

The county sheriff makes a base salary of about $110,000.

Officials in Will County elected countywide tend to earn lower salaries than their counterparts in neighboring counties with comparable populations and media incomes, according to data compiled by county staff.

Member Ken Harris, D-Bolingbrook, suggested the board still take a look at increasing officials’ salaries, especially the sheriff because he makes less than other neighboring sheriffs while overseeing a significant amount of unincorporated land in Will County.

“The sheriff is highly underpaid, no matter how you look at it,” Harris said.

The board has to set the salaries of only three positions that will be on the ballot for the 2022 election, including the county sheriff, clerk and treasurer. The board also has to set the salaries of the county executive, circuit clerk, auditor, coroner and recorder of deeds, but members will not have to set those salaries until those positions are next up for election in 2024.

The salaries for the county’s state’s attorney and regional superintendent are set by state law.

The Will County Board already voted to keep their own base salaries at $23,000 per year when Democrats approved new district maps along party lines earlier this month.

The full Will County Board will still have to set the officials’ salaries at their existing rate during its next meeting Thursday.