Crying Broke


white-bear-shamefulEvery year we endure our Manager and Village Board Members and their endless complaining of employee compensation, benefits and just how bad a financial situation the Village is in.  President Ritter sits up there lambasting the pensions (while he draws one,) Trustee Humpfer pays lip service to our financial woes and the greedy employees who want a little extra, and the rest of the Board can’t wait to vote “yes” to whatever consent agenda item shows up that evening.  Ever wonder what’s really going on though – are we really hurting that badly?  It wasn’t but 7 months ago that Our Village announced the intended lay-offs of 2 firefighters as a result of a severe shortage of funds.  Funny how when the Feds told them to cough up their books to prove they needed to amend the federal application for more firefighters, that the Village refused and struck a deal with the firefighters giving them Minimum Manning.  Wow – isn’t that the thing that Trustee Humpfer was just going on and on about a couple meetings ago because of the new law that passed and how it is going to do financial harm to our Village?  Funny how the Trustees agreed to minimum manning even before the law was on the books.  Hmm, I guess it isn’t going to cost the Village all that much seeing as how they were already willing to negotiate.

Well – I’m here to show you exactly how “short” the Village is in it’s funding:

In 2011, Manager Rooney made a reported 79417, with a total compensation package (including benefits and pension – yes, the Manager receives an IMRF pension) of 104549.  To be fair, the year runs 2010 to 2011, and he was hired in 2010.  The actual “annual salary” for his position was (about) 127000.  In 2012, we bump that up to 137812, with a total compensation package worth 180537.  In 2013 we again increased that to 147056, with a total package worth 192787.  In fiscal year 2013-2014, our trustees again bumped that up to 159831, with a total package worth 208797.  So in just 3 short years, the Manager has managed to acquire a 25.85% raise, an additional $32,831.00 – and i’ve heard another raise occurred again for this year.

Contrast that with the majority of union and non-union employees who have managed to eek out 4% AT BEST during the same time frame.  And that’s not taking into account the fact that some unions gave Concessions 5 years ago during the Great Recession.

But wait – why stop there?

In 2011, the Police Chief was making 116732 with a total package of 160607.  Today, after several raises himself, Chief Popp, as the Director of Public Safety, makes 142754, with a total package of 177399 (take in mind that he has no pension contributions seeing as how he’s already drawing a Pension!)  So, Chief Popp is making $26,022.00 more than his predecessor, having acquired a 22% raise compared to 4 years ago.

In 2011, the IT Director was making 79760.  2014, IT Director Goethals is making 98260 (in 2012 he started with 74000 reported income) – a raise of $18,500 or 23% in 3 years.

How about some new positions?  Manager Rooney apparently felt as though the Assistant Village Manager’s job was so big, that he created an extra AVM position.  First filled by Steven Jones – who left after less than a year on the job, for a total loss of taxpayers dollars worth $83711.  Also worth mentioning was that after Mr. Jones left, Mr. Wade was hired to replace him leaving 2 AVM positions in the mix, so we’ll include the 118041 that Mr. Wade received as compensation for the second Assistant’s job.  Newly created Assistant Finance Director position: 2013 – 113621, 2014 – 126027 & 2014 (replacement for R Brian Smith who left to go back to Wheeling) 69341.  Newly Created Assistant Public Works Director: 2013 – 129527 and 2014 – 138581.  Total Dollars ADDED and SPENT by your Village Board over the last few years $778,849.00.

So what would it have looked like had the Manager and his cronies been forced to accept raises in line with the rest of the employees?  Manager Rooney : 132080.  Chief Popp : 121401.  Director Goethals: 82950.  Total Amount Spent on lavish raises (above the 4% that all other employees have gotten since and assuming the 4% bump came in the first year): Manager -48459, Chief – 34855, IT – 23045, for a grand total of $106359.  Let’s just add that onto the newly created positions above, for a new total of wasted tax payer dollars: $885,208.

So while your Village Board is busy slashing your services, reducing the number of employees who can actually help you if you call 9-1-1 or need something with the Village’s Water and Sewer system, while they are busy telling you how the Village has been so hard hit by the Great Recession and why it’s so important to increase taxes to offset the loses – just remember: YOUR Trustees voted YES to wasting $885,000 on new Management positions and Extraordinary raises for the Manager and his Cronies.   YOUR Trustees voted time and time again to increase the Village’s debt from 12 million in 2008 to almost 33 Million last year – a 175% increase in Village Debt in 5 years.

It’s time we stop issuing this group a blank check and put new people in.  It’s time for Change from the Ground Up.

For everyone’s perusal – I submit the following employee compensation packages, available on

EmployeeCompensation2011 EmployeeCompensation2012 EmployeeCompensation2013 EmployeeCompensation2014