9 Schaumburg Park District employees take home more than $100K per year

9 Schaumburg Park District employees take home more than $100K per year

Park district documents reveal multiple employees making six-figure salaries.

For top employees with the Schaumburg Park District, public service comes with a six-figure salary and plenty of perks.

Nine employees with the Schaumburg Park District made more than $100,000 in 2017, according to the park district’s 2017 wage report. Executive Director Anthony LaFrenere took home the highest salary, making more than $176,300 annually.

LaFrenere’s total compensation in 2017 was over $182,000.

LaFrenere’s pay has risen considerably since he took over as executive director of Schaumburg Park District in 2012. Since 2013, his salary has increased by more than 17.5 percent, to $176,300 from $150,000 in 2013. LaFrenere has also received hefty bonuses. In 2013 LaFrenere received a $5,000 bonus, and in 2015 he received a $7,500 bonus.

LaFrenere has also enjoyed other perks, including an annual vehicle benefit worth $8,000 as of 2015.

The other employees who received base salaries above $100,000 included the park district deputy director, Steve Burgess, who made a base salary of more than $156,000 in 2017. Including benefits, Burgess made just above $157,000 in 2017. Vince Kennedy, the recreation superintendent for Schaumburg Park District, earned $135,290, including benefits, in 2017.

Like the executive director, the deputy director and the recreation superintendent also earned similar, $8,000-annual vehicle benefits in 2013 and 2015. In 2015, at least 10 employees in the park district received an annual vehicle benefit.

Park district documents show executive-level compensation for these positions has increased significantly in recent years as well. The annual salary for the recreation superintendent rose to $134,268 in 2017 from $119,296 in 2013, a 12.5 percent pay hike.

The remaining employees making more than six figures are as follows: Director of Facility Services and Emergency Management Douglas Kettel earned a base salary of $117,098, Superintendent of Parks Todd King earned a base salary of $106,418, Division Manager of Programing Sandy Harris earned a base salary of $103,866, Director of Human Resources Laila Bashia earned a base salary of $100,980 and Division Manager of Facilities Ryan Gangler earned a base salary of $100,813.

Park district documents show that another employee, Patricia Casler, received a base salary of $108,000 for 2017. However, the same documents list her total compensation as $9,519.

Those levels of pay are a far cry from what average Schaumburg residents make. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income in Schaumburg from 2012-2016 was $75,658.

While six-figure salaries are not necessarily surprising for executive-level positions, Schaumburg Park District’s relatively high number of big salaries raises eyebrows.

Take Fox Valley Park District, for example. Fox Valley Park District, which covers a larger area and serves more residents than Schaumburg Park District, has fewer workers earning six-figure salaries. According to Fox Valley Park District employee compensation documents, only six Fox Valley workers earn more than $100,000 in total compensation annually. When going strictly off of base salary, only four employees earn six figures or more.

Fox Valley Park District serves more than 200,000 residents while the Schaumburg Park District serves less than 100,000. Despite this, Schaumburg Park District’s tax levy per resident in 2017 was $300 while Fox Valley Park District’s was $95.67.

While the park district only makes up a small part of Schaumburg residents’ overall tax bill, it just adds on to a growing burden for middle-class homeowners.

Property taxes in Schaumburg and Cook County at large have been growing out of control for years. A 2015 Illinois Policy Institute found that between 2000 and an average of years 2009-2013, the average property tax burden for Cook County residents grew by a whopping 63 percent.

It’s a growing burden residents cannot afford. And six-figure salaries don’t appear to be helping.

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