Champaign Co. Board Gives Self Pay Raise

May 20, 2011

The Champaign County Board voted Thursday night to raise the salaries of its members for the first time in more than 20 years.

The board approved a pay increase from $45 a meeting to $80, and then voted a second time to bring that $80 figure down to $60. Democratic board member Michael Richards said he thinks that is too low.

"We have had people who have either not run or retired because it wasn't paying the babysitting bill on a four-hour meeting," he said. "Fifteen dollars is something, but I don't know if that's going to be enough of an increase to entice the quality pool to be better."

Opponents of the pay increase, like Republican board member Alan Nudo, worry this sends the wrong message at a time when county employees are being forced to take cuts to their salaries.

"I just don't feel it's appropriate for us to take a raise," Nudo said.

But County Board Chair Pius Weibel, a Democrat, said the county has been able to avoid pay cuts this year, and has actually granted some "small raises" and hired new staff to fill some vacancies, as the county's tax revenue stream begins to improve.

The pay hike would apply to the Champaign County Board starting in 2012.

Story source: WILL