Fifty-two village and city managers in Illinois earn more than any U.S. governor does, according to a report from Forbes. Three managers make more than $250,000 while leading municipalities that, combined, have fewer than 100,000 residents.
And it’s not just city managers earning exorbitant government salaries: The City of Bloomington’s human-resources director retired with a final year pensionable salary of $252,219. Other highly paid local employees, eligible for pensions, don’t even directly work for the government: Illinois Municipal League executive director Larry Frang hauled in $392,423, while Illinois Association of Parks Districts’ CEO Peter Murphy and Park District Risk Management Association CEO Brett Davis earned salaries of more than $305,000 each. Frang has tripled his pay over the last ten years.
“Employed in the private sector, these chiefs don’t even work for government, but special legislation ‘muscled’ them into the government pension systems,” Forbes’s Adam Andrzejewski explains. “Taxpayers have no control over the amount of salary awarded, but it’s the salaries that drive the lifetime pensions.” Those pensions, in addition to other benefits, make all of the above employees’ total compensation higher than the “pensionable salary” they earn. The list of rank-and-file government employees earning remarkably high wages goes on and on: In 2014, DuPage County outside of Chicago had ten employees that together earned more than $2.021 million.
As newly elected Republican governor Bruce Rauner begins working to clean up Springfield, he certainly has a lot of work to do.