County Board per diems, benefits add up : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
|County Board per diems, benefits add up|
|by Matt Schury|
Since the current Kendall County Board was seated in December 2010, over $189,000 has been paid collectively to board members for serving the public, according to the figures obtained from the County Treasurer's office this week.
Board members receive an $85 per diem for attending meetings as well as a $200 a month salary.
The Chairmen of the Board's Finance Committee and the Planning Building and Zoning Committee each get an additional $3,000 annual stipend. The County Board chairman also receives a $12,000 annual salary and $1,200 annually for acting as county liquor commissioner.
Board members John Purcell, Anne Vickery, Nancy Martin and Jessie Hafenrichter earned the most money.
Purcell collected $6,885 in per diems and $17,772 for his salary over the 16- month period.
Vickery received $16,660 in per diem payments along with $3,200 in salary and $4,038 for serving as the Board's Finance Committee chairman.
Martin took in $15,495 in per diems along with $3,200 for her board salary and $4,038 for chairing the Planning Building and Zoning Committee.
Hafenrichter was the fourth highest compensated board member but took in the most for per diems at $17,255.
Adding Hafenrichter's board salary gives her a total compensation of $20,455.
Next was Anne Vickery who took in $22,860. Vickery received $16,660 in per diem payments, $3,000 for chairing the Board's Finance Committee and $3,200 for her board salary.
Under state law, the board is required to vote on salary increases for elected officials at least 180 days before the new board members are seated following the general election in November.
In 2001, the board voted on an increase from $65 to $85 for per diem that went into effect in 2002 when the entire board was last up for re-election and redistricting took place.
In 2002, the board chairman's annual salary increased from $6,500 to $12,000 and the chairman of the board's Finance Committee began receiving a $3,000 annual stipend. The board voted to increase their per diem payments by $5 beginning in 2016 (see related story).
According to the board's rules of order, "A per day or per diem compensation covers the entire 24 hours in a day. A County Board member who attended a meeting of the County Board, and also one or more committee meetings on the same day, may only receive one per diem of $85. If he attended two or more committee meetings on the same day, he could receive only one per diem of $85." However, some board members' vouchers show they claim per diems for seminars, conferences and other county business meetings.
Board members also claim
In addition to per diems, salaries and stipends, board members can be reimbursed for mileage traveled for county business as well as receive health insurance. The Internal Revenue Service sets travel reimbursement at 55.5 cents per mile.
Data from the County Treasurer's office shows the following board member's turned in requests for mileage reimbursement over the last 16 months:
•Suzanne Petrella: $3,009
•Jessie Hafenrichter: $2,953
•Dan Koukol: $2,865
•Jeff Wehrli: $2,141
Vickery brought up the issue of board members receiving health insurance at a meeting Tuesday.
According to Vickery, health insurance benefits for board members totals $87,734.
Vickery ranked the eight board members who are on the county's health insurance.
According to Vickery's figures, the following board members take health insurance benefits:
•Bob Davidson: $16,560
•Hafenrichter, Koukol and Petrella: $9,044 each
•Elizabeth Flowers: $7,640
The Board's Finance Committee is expected to take up the issues of mileage reimbursement and health insurance coverage for Board members at their next meeting April 26.