What aldermen say
Here is what Belleville city alderman have to say about whether the city attorney and assistant city attorney work at least 1,000 hours representing Belleville.
Ward 1 Alderman Ken Kinsella
"A lot of people on the council are not used to dealing with those high salaries. We get sticker shock. But the truth is, that's a competitive price. I do look at the salary as the whole package. If they don't need the insurance, we should pay them the money."
Ward 2 Alderwoman Janet Schmidt
"A thousand hours a year is roughly 20 hours a week. I wouldn't see how he wouldn't put that in. That's three hours a day. I would think he might end up putting up a lot more. I still think we're getting a great bargain if you look at cities like Fairview Heights that get billed by the hour."
Ward 2 Alderwoman Melinda Hult
"I have consulted several of my attorney friends and they say it is impossible for them to do that. What they're saying is 20 hours a week, 50 weeks of the year. I don't that is realistic. I'd like to see their total billing hours. The attorneys do not work exclusively for Belleville."
Ward 4 Alderman Johnnie Anthony
"I'm going to go with the fact that just because the other ones did get it. I actually think they actually work more than a thousand hours. What happened with attorney Bob Sprague where he worked for the city for 30 years or something is an anomoly. These attorneys today probably won't."
Ward 5 Alderman Joe Hayden
"Based on what the IMRF stated, they are not eligible. So why would we pay the equivalent of something they're not eligible for? To me, they're contract employees. As far as Mike Flynn and Mr. Sprague go ... I believe there should be an investigation into what ... made them eligible all these years."
Ward 6 Alderman Bob White
"I think right now what we really need to do is get a determination from the IMRF, if (the 1,000-hour requirement) is really the reason they denied their benefits. In the future, we have to be clear on what we think is a fair price to pay the city attorney and the assistant city attorney."
Ward 6 Alderman Paul Seibert
"I think what we did the other night is fine: Wait and see what the IMRF says. Everybody else got it. They're just going to check on it and see if they work a thousand hours. I'm sure they do. Litigation, my god, it takes hours sometimes. They'll probably go over 1,000, easy."
Ward 7 Alderman Trent Galetti
"If (City Attorney Garrett Hoerner's) denied, I think there's a contractual problem that may arise. But this guy's in private practice, he represents other government entities. If I'm contracting with Belleville getting $100,000 and I work for other municipalities, IMRF wouldn't be a big deal to me."
Ward 7 Alderwoman Lillian Schneider
"They drew up their own contract and they put in what they wanted. If you don't want the job, let somebody else have a shot at it. If they already get retirement somewhere else and insurance paid by their firm, it's like double dipping. If city employees can cut back, they can too. "
Ward 8 Alderman James Musgrove
"It doesn't matter what I think. Let (IMRF) figure it out. But we (aldermen) work a lot more than (1,000 hours). I write my own minutes. Before Planning and Zoning meetings, if an issue is in my area I go check on it. I took pictures of potholes today and I turn all those in to the Street Department."
Ward 1 Alderman Mike Heisler, Ward 3 Aldermen Kent Randle and Gabby Rujawitz, Ward 4 Alderman Jim Davidson, Ward 5 Alderman Phil Silsby and Ward 8 Alderman Joe Orlet could not be reached for comment.