South Jax to vote on trustee pay raise

By Ryne Turke on September 17, 2016 at 9:26am

A raise could be in the works for South Jacksonville trustees.

Trustees have been tossing around the possibility of bumping their monthly pay for the better part of 2016, but discussion has yet to make it out of committee meetings.

Trustee Kem Wilson, who got the ball rolling on this topic, presented some interesting figures Tuesday night.

“We currently receive $100 a month, with no extra money for meetings. I check  like 11 different municipalities close to our size, like Winchester, Carrollton, PIttsfield, Winchester, Beardstown, New Berlin, White Hall, Chatham and Roodhouse. There was nobody lower than us,” says Wilson.

Wilson says the trustees she spoke with around central Illinois make an average of $250-300 a month.

During a committee meeting this week, Wilson suggested raising pay to $300 a month for trustees. Under this proposal, trustees would not received additional payments for unscheduled meetings.

“We do have a lot of meetings and have to do a lot of research. Probably most people don’t realize how much time and effort we put into this. That’s good and what we are elected to do. We want to do that, but at the same time, we should be compensated something for it. I feel we should be at the same level as communities our size,” says Wilson.

Even though trustees haven’t received a raise since at least 2004, Mike Elliot feels compensation should remain at $100 a month.

“I think our position and responsibilities haven’t changed. As a village trustee you come to the meeting and make decisions for people who elected us. Really the townspeople should have some input on this too. They are the ones who put us in the job. We need to work on moving forward and working with our employees instead of compensating ourselves,” says Elliot.

Village President pro-tem Steve Waltrip feels $200 a month would be a fair option, a suggestion trustee John Gotschall agreed with.

Trustees Stacy Pinkerton and Paula Belobrajdic-Stewart are in favor of a raise.

The pay increase would not include the village president and clerk as both positions have received a raise in the last 12 years.

The potential raise will be voted on at the October meeting.