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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.

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

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