.

Yorkville Elected Officials' Health Insurance Cost City $72,000 This Fiscal Year

Depending on the plan an elected official chooses, he or she could more than double their overall compensation through health insurance.

A Yorkville alderman could more than double his or her overall compensation by opting into the city’s health insurance plan—an option Yorkville began offering its elected officials just more than four years ago.

Yorkville’s mayor is paid $8,500 a year, plus $100 for each City Council meeting he or she attends, according to city code. Aldermen get $3,600, plus the $100 per City Council meeting. If they attend two meetings a month, the mayor receives about $910 a month and each alderman is paid $500 a month.

They also have the option of receiving health insurance through the city, at a cost to the city of about $500 a month for a single plan and $2,000 a month for a family plan, City Administrator Bart Olson said. Overall, the city has paid $6,000 monthly for elected officials’ health insurance this fiscal year, which ends April 30, Olson said. The total cost comes to $72,000 for the year.

Ward 4 Alderman Diane Teeling mentioned the health insurance cost at the April 12 City Council meeting as aldermen were discussing the budget.

“No part-time people in our city get health insurance, and we are part time,” Teeling said. “I thought this was something we need to look at.”

State law does not allow public bodies to change elected officials’ compensation mid-term, so any changes made to the pay or health insurance practices would not go into effect until four new aldermen terms begin in 2013 and would have to be made at least six months before the election, Olson said.

An alderman suggested adding elected officials to the city’s health insurance and the City Council approved it without controversy in March 2007, Olson said.

Last week, Teeling said elected officials could save the city money simply by choosing not to sign up for the health insurance.

For his part, Chris Funkhouser, who will be sworn in May 10 to a Ward 3 alderman seat, said he just received information about the city’s health plans and hadn’t decided if he would use it.

He said the issue was something for city leaders to consider in the future, although the health insurance might encourage more people to run for City Council seats.

“It’s pretty low pay, so it is an incentive to somebody coming in,” Funkhouser said.

A survey of pay for elected officials in Plano, Oswego and Sugar Grove revealed amounts similar to Yorkville’s, although none of those entities provided elected officials with health insurance. The chart below assumes officials attend the number of meetings typically scheduled each month and does not include the health insurance cost for Yorkville officials.

City Mayor Alderman Population Yorkville $10,900 $6,000 16,921 Oswego $8,400 $6,000 30,355 Sugar Grove $10,600 $4,185 8,997 Plano $9,100 $4,800 10,856

 

Editor's note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly added $1,000 to the Yorkville mayor's pay and indicated aldermen voted to give themselves health insurance benefits in 2006. Yorkville Patch regrets the errors.

Wally B April 20, 2011 at 10:07 PM
What everyone is missing(per the minutes) is that if they can't vote within 6 mo of an election and if a decision affecting the elected officials can't go into effect until after the next election and if the elected official must log at least 30 hours per week to qualify then when did they ALL take this perk, was it legal, and if not do they need to pay the city back for this? This could be 11 officials times $6,000 times two years or $132,000 paid back to the taxpayers plus $66,000 going forward. Anyone holding them ALL accountable? That is what Bart should be investigating.
Bob Allen April 21, 2011 at 02:19 AM
All Eyes On Me, Did you serve on city council? r u going to answer my simple question?
All Eyes On Me April 21, 2011 at 02:28 AM
No bob I did not. Hey Bob Allen your not going to start acusing me of being Rose Spears are you? Bob now answer my question. Are you defending Dianne the way you stuck up for marty if you are I sure hope she gets better results then Marty did because he lost oh and by the way Bob you did to by a landslide. Bob one more question.... You going to try to start bullying me the way you did Rose Spears? Hey Bob did you take the insurance?
Jillian Duchnowski April 21, 2011 at 11:07 AM
Folks, let's discuss the issue without taunting others or resorting to personal attacks. Thanks.
The Fighting Fox April 21, 2011 at 02:02 PM
I don’t know who should be investigating this but I will share with you an interesting piece from the Illinois Municipal Code (65 ILCS 5/3.1-50-10) Sec. 3.1-50-10. Fixing salaries …”The salaries that are fixed by ordinance for those officers who hold elective office for a definite term shall neither be increased nor diminished during that term and shall be fixed at least 180 days before the beginning of the terms of the officers whose compensation is to be fixed.” March 13, 2007 was little more than a month removed from the April 17, 2007 Consolidated General Election and less than 60 days removed from May 8, 2007 the date when the new City Council was seated. So if I am reading this correctly the only People on the City Council who should have been eligible for benefits are Teeling, Munns, Golinski, and Gilson. Unless everyone was listening to attorney Wyeth “who stated that he felt it would be effective immediately…” I care about this community and have for many years, and this kind of thing makes me sick to my stomach.
just call me joe April 21, 2011 at 04:37 PM
So FF what you are really saying is what Wally B has already said above? How about the clerk, treasurer, & mayor? Would like to know who got the benefit and when. Who holds any of them accountable for 30 hrs/wk?
just call me joe April 21, 2011 at 05:22 PM
I think Munns wouldn't be eligible either. He was a sitting Alderman.
The Fighting Fox April 21, 2011 at 05:52 PM
I think Munns would be eligible because he is in the middle of his 2nd term. The motion was “to authorize that the United City of Yorkville elected officials (aldermen, mayor, treasurer, clerk) shall be eligible to participate in all insurance coverage for City Employees…” Another resolution 2007-17 was for the IMRF pension. The million dollar question is who enrolled for benefits and when? And as far as accountability, who do you go to with something like this, the press, the Kendall County States Attorney, the Illinois Attorney General.
just call me joe April 21, 2011 at 07:21 PM
Help me through your logic. Munns was an Ald since 2003(?) and he is eligible with a vote in 2007 and not as guilty as the rest? I guess Mr. Weiss would be the one. If the City Atty gave the okay then he probably is the one to be held accountable.
The Fighting Fox April 21, 2011 at 07:48 PM
Let me clarify, as near as I can tell, only the aldermen elected in 2009 are eligible for benefits until the new City Council is sworn in on May 10th, and Munns was part of that group re-elected in 2009, along with Teeling, Golinski, and Wederich. Anyone else, the other 4 aldermen the clerk, treasurer, and mayor that received benefits either IMRF or Insurance should not have been eligible, because the actions of the City Council on March 13, 2007 happened within 180 days of their seating on the City Council. This is according to the section of the Illinois Municipal Code that I posted earlier. Although I do suspect that there are probably people that were elected in 2007 that enrolled for benefits because attorney Wyeth “stated that he felt it would be effective immediately…”
YorkVillain April 22, 2011 at 04:41 PM
This is corrupt on so many levels. There are insurance benefits and pension contributions approved without what would seem to be at least a casual investigation of how or when these benefits should take effect. Notice how not one single current or incoming person on the council has chimed in on this unless you count Diane and Robyn from the night of the meeting and the embarrassing comments from Funkhouser in the article. No doubt, there’s dirty laundry here and the truth needs to come out in the wash.
Matt R April 22, 2011 at 06:52 PM
YorkVillian, As your name implies, it appears you want a pound of flesh. Or maybe a witch hunt? First you want a sign attacking Ald Spears, "Alderman Spears has been nothing but divisive for years." Then you attack her again, "Tired of Taxes must have an unemployed friend on the city council." Now you attack those coming in who haven't even been sworn in but praise the two who took the "apparently" legal comp for the last two years. I'm betting you are well versed on doing FOIA's. If you have the proof something was done wrong then open up. If not then clam up.
YorkVillain April 23, 2011 at 03:13 AM
The origin of the phrase “pound of flesh” comes from Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. When he character Antonio defaults on a loan, the character Shylock demands the pound of flesh which was previously set as collateral, as revenge for Antonio having previously insulted and spat on him. Being compared to Shylock is very flattering in this instance and I am honored by the comparison. Shylock demanded that Antonio be held accountable for his debt and I believe that we should demand accountability from our elected officials. I honestly wish Alderman Spears nothing more than a graceful and immediate exit from public service. But my opinions aside I honestly had never thought about who Tired of Taxes might be referring to when I commented on that thread, I was just observing an unusual softness from that poster who was previously hostile to most city spending. I guess we all know who you thought I was thinking about. Even though I don’t know much about FOIA I do know that when you get stonewalled in Illinois you should contact Amalia Rioja the Public Access Counselor with Office of the Attorney General at 1-877-299-FOIA.
Matt R April 23, 2011 at 11:58 AM
I think you are the city/county expert on FOIA's Todd. Probably have cost the taxpayer $50,000+++ requesting them over the last 4 years.
YorkVillain April 23, 2011 at 07:37 PM
Sorry Matt you probably owe “Todd” an apology for your accusation, and although I’ve ever met “Todd” and I assume you mean Todd Milliron, if I ever do meet him I will tell him that I appreciate what he has done for our community and thank him for blowing the whistle on the landfill. Because without certain checks and balances in place “business as usual” has gone unchecked around these parts for far too long. Whether in the City, County, Township, School Board, Library Board, Sanitary District, or where ever if public officials are afraid of transparency then there is probably something going on that they don’t want someone else to know.
marty munns April 26, 2011 at 03:00 PM
To give some history on the insurance issue for employees and elected officials. Some years back not in the too distant past as a matter of fact, all city employees received insurance benefits for $1 dollar a month. That was one dollar a month. I believe it was Alderman Spears and myself who initiated the issue at administration committee to have employees pay a fair share of insurance costs. So since about 2003 the employees have went from paying a dollar a month to currently about $150 a month depending on which plan they select. So if my math is correct by having 100 employees go from $1 to $150 a month that saved the city approx $180,000 a year! I am eligible to take insurance benefits if I decide to pay the premiums set forth by the city policy. I certainly don't do this for the money but if you compare what city alderman earn as compared to other governmental agencies such as the county board we are definetly way under those numbers. I also agree with a comment from above that why if this such an issue why wasn't it brought up last year when we were discussing budget options. I am hoping it is not some vindictave ploy being suggested now because they won't be eligible to receive the benefit once exiting office.
Matt R April 26, 2011 at 06:05 PM
Marty, I think you are getting the picture and undoubtedly you will be chastised for saying anything. I for one feel the benefit is fitting for what you all do for us. God bless you all - even those leaving in two weeks. Some of these people are just wanting to show they are still in power. Too bad they found out the citizens understood more than they gave them credit for. 68% to 32% is more than a landslide. Let's just get on with the people's business. That's what we expect from all of you.
Tired of Taxes April 27, 2011 at 10:37 PM
I for one am somewhat torn between whether or not council members should receive insurance benefits. I know that several council members are currently unemployed. They do contibute a lot of their time as council members, that they receive very little compensation for. I stated previously that it should be discussed and reserched further and should maybe be handled on a case by case basis. Especially if someone who currently takes the city's insurance is eligible for another health care insurance plan such as their spouse. Well the backlash I received wasn't worth the debate. There are a lot of areas that they can cut from the city budget, but I honestly am just not sure if this should be one of them. I shudder to think what would have happened to my family after all of the medical issues that we have been through in the last 18 months; if we hadn't had health care insurance. For a short while between jobs several years ago, we had to purchase a seperate major medical policy (hospitalization only) No prescription coverage, no covered doctors visits, coverage at 80/20% with a deductible of $2500. per person and I think we paid about $550 a month. Thats alot of money for very crappy insurance. Nobody ever plans on becoming seriously sick or injured, but when you are, believe me, you become very grateful for the insurance that you have.
YorkVillain April 28, 2011 at 07:47 PM
I would like to thank Alderman Munns for commenting, but I have to say that it’s a letdown to hear him tout his prowess at passing the cost of benefits on to City employees on March 13, 2007 but doesn’t address that the City Council then voted to give themselves some uncommonly generous benefits at that very same meeting . As a resident I have serious objections to a Councilman saying, in effect it’s okay to have everybody pay the costs of our insurance because we just pinched some of the money that we saved by passing the buck on to our employees. I hope you don’t feel that you deserve insurance benefits because just because you decided at a meeting to raise costs to employees, this is a terrible, selfish argument and I am embarrassed for you.
The Fighting Fox April 28, 2011 at 08:02 PM
What’s at issue here is not that City Council members are able to enroll in the Yorkville insurance plan or IMRF it’s that the costs are borne by the residents, and that the timing of the whole deal appears to be improper. If the City Council had approved a resolution allowing for their ranks to be eligible for enrollment at their own personal expense, nobody would care, but that’s not what happened.
It all comes out in the wash April 28, 2011 at 10:08 PM
The people of Yorkville should decide on this not the council themselves. This needs to be added to the agenda and addressed. Here are the Actuals received from the City: From 5/1/2010 to 4/30/2011 Health Insurance 6 of the 11 elected officials and their eligible dependents participated $71,854.86 Dental 7 of the 11 $7,599.96 Vision 7 of the 11 $ 1,099.44 TOTAL $80,554.26 You can bet the number participating from 5/1/2011 has increased and so has the cost. I will contine to push to get this on the Agenda to have the people in this City decide. Ask your Alderman if they are participating this year and see how they respond. Walk the talk..
The Fighting Fox April 29, 2011 at 07:24 PM
WOW! Assuming the figures posted above are correct, if we assume that every public official attends all 24 regular meeting and nothing extra is included, the total yearly payroll for the City Council is $70,900 and the cost of the insurance benefits are $80,554.26. The citizens of Yorkville are already paying nearly $10,000 more for benefits than we are paying in salaries to the City Council and little more than half of them are enrolled. Think about this, the salary for Treasurer, Clerk and Alderman is $6000 per year if they attend all the meetings, so if anyone holding those positions have the insurance it more than TRIPLES their earnings.
It all comes out in the wash April 29, 2011 at 10:26 PM
These above figures came directly from the City. I'm sure the cost is going up for the period of 5/1/2011 to 4/30/2012. It is also noted above "at a cost to the city of about $500 a month for a single plan and $2,000 a month for a family plan". Now lets assume we have an Alderman who has insurance with the family plan. 2000.00 x 12= 24,000.00. That's just one. I've asked my Alderman if they are participating and I have yet to receive a response. My guess is that the lack of response means yes. I will ask for this to be put on the Administration Agenda until the people of Yorkville can decide if this is something they should be paying for. For those of you wondering how much your taxes have gone up they are out there. Mine increased City alone 48%, school dist 115 4%, now get this Library 9%, etc... Grant it that the city only receives a small % of the overall taxes but come on 48%.
Tired of Taxes April 30, 2011 at 01:34 PM
The numbers are "up there" for what the city pays in insurance benefits to the city council members. Until 4-12-11 I did not realize council members were receiving ins. benefits. True council members are only part time. What I had expressed and voiced concern with earlier are the full time city workers. While it is typical for employers to provide insurance benefits to full time workers and not part time workers; based on the salaries that the full time city workers are receiving, the tax payers are currently paying substainialy more for full time workers then the numbers listed above for part time council members. Up until 2008 full time city workers only contributed $20. a month towards their health ins. premiums. In 2008 it was raised to $200. a month for full time workers; a savings to the city of $80,000. Still, $200. a month is only 15-20% of the total premium. Taxpayers pay the remaining 80-85% of the health ins. premiums. Taxpayers also pay 100% of vision, dental and life ins. to full time city employee's. With full time city workers currently making salaries of up to $98,000/yr, I feel that they should and can afford to be contributing 50% towards the cost of their health ins. premiums. I also feel vision, dental & life ins. should be cut altogether. If the city council or the voters decide to cut or take away from the part time council members ins. benefits, then I feel that cuts to the full time city workers ins. benefits should occur as well.
Tired of Taxes May 02, 2011 at 11:16 PM
I spoke back in December at a city council meeting regarding the health care insurance cost for full time city workers. Previously the mayor was proud of the fact that they raised the full time city workers contribution from $20/month up to $200/month thus saving the city $80,000/yr. Our family currently contributes 50% towards the cost of our health care coverage-approx $500/month. I see nothing wrong with raising full time city employee's contribution of health care coverage up to 50%. Especially in light of the generous salaries that they are currently receiving. That would save the city approx an additional $120,000/yr. A 50/50 split is fairly standard anymore in the private work sector. YorkVillain, I can only assume that you are a full time city worker that doesn't want to pay more for your health ins. If you disagree with me and my views, that's fine. Then feel free to state your own opinion and why you disagree with me, but stop with the childish name calling and personal attacks of calling me "ignorant" and telling me that "I am shaming our community" or that I am a "fraud". I did not know about health care benefits being paid to council members until the 4-12-11 council meeting. After seeing the posting regarding the cost involved maybe it should be cut, but unless the city council puts it on the ballot for the voters; than it's not my decision to make. All I can do is tell my council ward leaders how I feel. Maybe you should do the same.
It all comes out in the wash May 09, 2011 at 07:24 PM
Yorkville residents should not be paying for Part Time council members self imposed Health Insurance. Key word: SELF IMPOSED, not something the tax payers voted on. Unacceptable!
The Fighting Fox May 09, 2011 at 08:39 PM
I hate to be the one to state the obvious, but not one soul on the City Council has come forward since the start of all this and stated publicly that they either are not enrolling or re-enrolling. I don't know about the rest of you but I'm beginning to think that we voted for the wrong way.
Sharon Lowy August 11, 2011 at 04:20 PM
I don't think part time employees should receive health benefits in a community that cannot afford to purchase books for the library. I have read that small surrounding towns do not provide health insurance for the city council. I can certainly understand if available why one would take it but it really does seem to be an unfair expense for the taxpayers. Maybe in a city the size of Chicago but not in a poor little town like Yorkville it is shameful!
Reasonable Conservative August 11, 2011 at 05:30 PM
I suggest we all realize that all we have to do is vote these people out. SIMPLE. Get involved and call your alderman and demand that they change the law now. NOW. I for one am a resident who cannot understand how the community puts up with this. No one ought to vote for any part-time Yorkville official who takes insurance benefits or who voted for it. The shame attached to this issue is there for all to see. I suspect people will have to lose their homes, jobs and everything else before they throw these shameful officials out. It baffles me that the residents put up with this; this is only one of many issues that saddens me. I would be ashamed to be responsible for allowing this to happen. And it is my opinion that the Yorkville council has no shame.
youdontneedtoknow November 14, 2011 at 05:03 AM
you guys are idiots

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »