Some Illinois village managers outearn every state governor

Some Illinois village managers outearn every state governor

The Mount Prospect village manager is set to receive a $214,000 salary in 2018, joining a long list of other Illinois municipal officials collecting similar and even larger paychecks.

The Mount Prospect village board voted to give its village manager a raise to just over $214,000, with a $20,000 bonus, adding him to the growing list of expensive village managers and mayors in Illinois.

Trustees approved the salary increase unanimously Jan. 3 after finalizing the terms of the agreement in a closed-door meeting in December. While this local administrative salary might raise some eyebrows, the Mount Prospect village manager certainly isn’t alone in taking home big checks in Illinois.

At least eight other village or city managers in Illinois are taking home salaries north of $200,000 as of 2016, according to data from, with all of them located in Cook or the collar counties – areas with some of the highest property taxes in the nation. Village or city managers in Evanston, Rosemont, Libertyville, Lake Forest, Palatine and Northbrook all make over $200,000, while as recently as 2016, the village manager in Glenview made more than $300,000, making that position the state’s most expensive municipal official position. All these managers make more than every governor in the U.S.

This is in addition to Illinois having some of the highest paid mayors in the world. Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens – the brother of Rosemont Village Manager Chris Stephens – made $260,000 in 2017, making him the second-highest paid mayor in the world that year behind only recently-deceased San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. Both Stephenses have salaries higher than Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, despite Chicago being 600 times larger than Rosemont.

Bolingbrook has one of the highest paid mayors in the world as well. Bolingbrook Mayor Roger Claar, who has been in office since 1986, made $150,176 in 2017.

These high costs for local government are out of line with what taxpayers in Cook and the collar counties can afford. Residents in Lake and DuPage counties pay the highest and second-highest property taxes in Illinois, respectively, and the 21st– and 27th-highest in the country. McHenry, Kane and Will counties rank fourth-, fifth- and sixth-highest in the state, respectively, and all are among the country’s top 35 counties for the highest median property taxes.

Cook County taxpayers, meanwhile, pay the eighth-highest property taxes in the state, and the 67th-highest in the nation, with assurances of increases to come for many thanks to Chicago property tax hikes passed in 2015.

Several reforms need to be made to rein in the state’s highest-in-the-nation property taxes. Cutting back on the administrative cost of government would be an easy way to start. Unfortunately, Mount Prospect and several other villages and cities in the Chicagoland area have put politicians and government officials ahead of taxpayers.

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