City of Jacksonville Approve Deferred Pay Raise for Elected Officers in 2021

By Benjamin Cox on September 29, 2020 at 6:11pm

Jacksonville elected officials will see a deferred pay increase after the April consolidated election in 2021. The Jacksonville City Council voted to give a 0% increase to officials in the first year and then a raise of 2% off of the base salary for the office the following year. Aldermanic seats will see no pay increase.

Finance Committee Chairman and Ward 5 Alderman Don Cook says its a modification from year’s past: “[The increase] is zero percent for the first year. It’s a modified past practice, and so what we did is we took 2% of their base salary, the present base salary whatever that figure was, is applied to each additional year.”

Cook says 2021 brings a lot of revenue uncertainty for the city, making the deferred increase necessary: “As far as revenues are concerned [for the city] next year, those numbers are uncertain so it’s a way for us to cut back on a little costs here to try and save a little money. I have got to say that the elected officials that are in office right now were more than willing to give up that raise for the first year simply because we don’t know what the next year is going to present revenue-wise.”

The vote for the modified raises passed 8-1, with Ward 5 Alderman Steve Warmowski absent and Ward 3 Alderman Brandon Adams voting no. Adams said he voted against the measure because he believed that the alderman pay should be raised to $450 a month to reflect the $15 per hour state minimum wage increase.

In other action Monday night, the city council approved new roofs for the Massey View Booster Pump Building, Fire Station #2, and the Old Municipal Electrical Building on West Douglas for a low bid of $146,310. The Fire Department has also been approved to purchase an encrypted radio base station with CURES Act money from the State of Illinois. The base station will allow encrypted radio communication between the fire department and dispatch so patient information will not be revealed over the public scanners to protect the city from HIPAA violations.

Benton & Associates presented a resolution for the city to pursue bids for cleaning and rehabilitation of the Ramey Well. The well accounts for the majority of the water flow at the water treatment plant. The well is taken through a highly regulated, thorough, and specialized cleaning process approximately once every 5-10 years. The work is expected to cost the city between $450,000-$500,000, with work expected to begin in February depending upon the bids process.

The city also approved a resolution for the local railroad to do heavy maintenance at the North Main Street railroad crossing. The maintenance is at no cost to the city – as the railroad and federal transportation funding will be used. City Attorney Dan Beard said that by law that the city had to approve permission for the work to be done, and for proper notification when the maintenance would likely occur.

The next Jacksonville City Council meeting will be held Tuesday, October 13th due to the Christopher Columbus holiday.