Cook County Board members approve annual raises for themselves, in perpetuity

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Raise illustration Photo credit Getty Images

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — The Cook County Board on Tuesday voted to raise its own pay and the salaries of other officials, with regular pay hikes built in for the future.

The board voted 13-4 to approve the plan, under which commissioners will see their base annual pay rise to $93,500 from $85,000, effective in December.

Commissioner Larry Suffredin (13th) said raising the pay for county board members is necessary to attract top talent for public office.

Former commissioner Richard Boykin, who is running for board president, dismissed the idea, saying the board slots are effectively part-time jobs.

Public budget watchdog Laurence Msall, president of the Civic Federation, didn’t oppose the initial 10% pay raise for officials but objected to built-in raises of up to 3% or the rate of inflation, whichever is less, in subsequent years.

The board president’s annual salary will rise to $187,000 from $170,000 later this year. The county assessor’s pay will increase to $137,500 from $125,000, while the sheriff’s salary increases to $176,000 from $160,000. The clerk and treasurer’s salaries would each increase to $115,500 from $105,000.

Cook County board members haven’t had a pay increase since 2002.

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