Editorials

When public dollars are thin, elected leaders should expect lean pay

What do public employees make compared to you?

Each year the salaries of public employees such as teachers, police and politicians in southwestern Illinois are collected into a searchable database at BND.com/publicpay. Here is how much in taxes it takes to pay government workers, and how their
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Each year the salaries of public employees such as teachers, police and politicians in southwestern Illinois are collected into a searchable database at BND.com/publicpay. Here is how much in taxes it takes to pay government workers, and how their

Madison County Board members just decided some of their elected leaders are making enough, especially in a state that heaps more taxes on its residents than in any other.

The best leadership is by example, so elected leaders should shoulder a little pain just as their constituents are doing.

County Board members set the salaries for those elected to their seats at $14,495 until 2022. The county clerk and treasurer, both up for reelection Nov. 6, will be locked at $110,115 until December 2022. The sheriff is also up for election, but that salary was locked at $114,115 until the end of 2022.

Half of the countywide officeholders are elected every two years, so others such as Auditor Rick Faccin make more, $118,123 in the auditor's case. You cannot change the salary of a sitting officeholder, but you can change it for the person to be elected auditor in 2020.

Madison County should look at cutting back on those salaries.

St. Clair County Auditor Patty Sprague was paid $101,367 last year. Why should the Madison County person doing the same job make $16,756 more?

St. Clair County Circuit Clerk Kahalah Clay made $101,115. Madison County Circuit Clerk Mark Von Nida made $15,511 more.

Six-figure salaries are plenty for those offices.

Even Madison County Chairman Kurt Prenzler, who cut his salary, makes $8,263 more than St. Clair County Chairman Mark Kern.

On the plus side, Madison County Board members make less than their St. Clair County peers. St. Clair County Board members make between $17,600 and $19,400.

Good start in Madison County. Room for improvement to trim more salaries in both counties.

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