Rockford Aldermen Approve Salary Increases

By: Lauren Kravets
By: Lauren Kravets

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Just one week after approving a three percent pay increase for all non-union employees, some Rockford aldermen voted tonight to approve more dramatic raises.

Members of the Finance and Personnel Committee voted 3 to 2 tonight to increase salaries for several management positions, one of them would get a more than $23,000 increase.

Committee members spoke their minds about the raises. Those who support the increases say non-union city employees, like some police officers and firefighters, have not received raises for about three years.

They also say employees are leaving Rockford for jobs in other areas that pay more. And current union members aren't taking management promotions since they'd be taking a pay cut.

However those against the salary bumps say the increases are too much, especially when other programs are suffering.

"But not when we've taken out street lights, not when we've cut back on the budget, not when we've done all these things. Everyone is worth 29 percent (increase), lord knows they are but being worth it and being able to pay it are two different things," said 7th Ward Alderman Ann Thompson-Kelly.

This is what the salary increase proposals look like:

The Information Technology (IT) Director would get a $23,249 increase from $86,751.20 to $110,000.

The Human Services (HS) Director would get a $4,207 increase from $94,036.80 to $98,244.

Fire District Chief would get a $4,628 increase from $92,543.36 to $97,170.53.

Fire Division Chiefs would get a $5,101 increase from $102,024 to $107,125.20.

Police Lieutenants would get a $4,632 increase from $92,539.20 to $97,170.53.

Central Services Manager would get a $9,073 increase from $70,054.40 to $79,127.

The full city council voted 8 to 5 tonight to approve the committee's report.. But the council must still vote on the actual ordinance, and that's expected to happen next week. The ordinance also includes a $20,000 salary study and a $300/month stipend for the mayor. The stipend has been an ordinance since 2003 but was never implemented.

Also tonight, the Finance and Personnel Committee laid over an intergovernmental agreement to the state comptroller's Local Debt Recovery Program. It would help the city collect unpaid fines by taking money directly from the state, that's owed to a resident. For example if a resident has an unpaid fine, like a parking ticket, the city could take that money out of a resident's state tax refund check, before he or she got the check.

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  • by Better paying jobs on May 31, 2012 at 04:28 AM
    Someone asked where the better paying jobs are...Madison! Many of us "average" government workers get paid $10/hr. It's nice to see our bosses getting raises while we struggle to pay our car loans, student loans, and to put food on our table for our children. We're required to have college degrees for our jobs, but can hardly make our student loan payments with the wage we make in Rockford. We joke amongst ourselves that our clients are all on SNAP, but our wages are all low enough, we would qualify for them if we actually went and applied. Every day, we come to work to assist the public, give them out best, only to be sworn at, have chairs thrown us, threatened, spit it, etc. Most would not continuously put up with that for $10/hr.
    • reply
      by Dave on May 31, 2012 at 05:52 AM in reply to Better paying jobs
      Sorry but the student loans are your problem. Do not borrow money that will take forever to pay back. That is a free lesson 101 in borrowing.
  • by Steven Location: Rockford on May 30, 2012 at 06:53 PM
    Now we know why they wanted darker streets. The money saved from turning off the lights, which seems to have turned up the crime, is going into the pockets of people who make too much money for not enough work, because it'll make them feel better about what they do. By teh way, WHAT DO THEY DO???
  • by Dave R Location: Rockford on May 30, 2012 at 05:43 PM
    What is a salary study? And why does it cost $20,000? Rockford needs a whole new city council with people that will do what is right for the taxpayers. I guess they have the extra money since they raised our property tax.
  • by SH Location: Rockford on May 30, 2012 at 04:44 PM
    That's ridiculous. Adding up those numbers, never mind how many lieutenants there are, is $50890. That will pay for at lease one police officer. And they sat that can't afford more police officers. What a crock or should I say what crooks.
  • by Dave Location: Rockford on May 30, 2012 at 03:09 PM
    So what does our little weasle of a mayor get a stipend for? He is paid a wage. Is it a hair stipend? A brain stipend? A spine stipend? A light on his street stipend? A squad car out front of his house stipend? A gas up his car, take his family and leave this town stipend? What is this for I ask.
  • by Dave Location: Rockford on May 30, 2012 at 08:04 AM
    This is what happens when people who have absolutley no qualifications for the job they hold are in charge of making decisions. In the end they are just low level political crooks.
  • by tony Location: rockton on May 30, 2012 at 08:01 AM many people in Rockford, that don't make $23,250.00....thousands....
    • reply
      by cm on May 30, 2012 at 11:10 AM in reply to tony
      the freeloaders who are in public aid and don't want to get off there lazy ass and work just want to commit crimes lives of the others who do work
  • by Steve Location: Rockbottom on May 30, 2012 at 07:20 AM
    Pay raises should be based on performance statistics not just because other cities are doing it. Other cities pay more because they are obviously managed and governed much better. Our city will find a way to twist/ justify any scenario to benefit themselves and pad their pockets. If you perform and improve things no one in their right mind would question a pay raise and you should recieve one. Sad that no one will take accountability these days.
  • by Joe Location: Rockford on May 30, 2012 at 07:03 AM
    Leaving for better paying jobs WHERE?
  • by Steve Location: Rockford on May 30, 2012 at 06:57 AM
    At the next election I am going to vote against every incumbent on the ballot. It is time for a fresh start.
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