County Board Vote

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After much discussion, the Winnebago County Board voted 20 to six against giving themselves a raise.

"Times are rough, a lot of people aren't receiving jobs or raises in their own jobs, and I think right now that raises should be given out very sparsely," says Board Member Mary Ann Aiello.

"I don't believe its appropriate at this time to give anybody a raise," says Board Member Gary Jury.

Instead the board voted to keep their salaries the same for the next wave of board members, who will arrive in November. Some say the board should have handled the situation better.

"Its not the $140 that was an issue or a small pay increase to $175 a week, it was strictly a case of misunderstanding but the public was outraged by the way it was handled through the media," says Board Member Chris K. Johnson.

Johnson says he voted the proposal down because of what his constituents were telling him.

"You can't just be a representative of the people and not listen to them. The only phone calls I had today were against a pay raise," Johnson says.

And while the new board members will not be receiving raises, the sheriff, county clerk, and treasurer will all be receiving raises.

"I think they deserved what they got because they've been excellent stewards of the county," Gary Jury says.

Retiring County Clerk Dave Johnson says his successor deserves the increase in pay.

"It is a very complicated office and you can imagine election time, you have to have that right and we do. We're always the leaders in getting done and having the correct results," Johnson says.

The pay raises will take effect starting on December 1 and last until 2010.

The sheriff will receive $107,102, while the clerk and treasurer will both make $76,649. Plus, all three offices will get an annual cost of living increase.