DuPage Co., IL. (ECWd) -
At today's DuPage County board meeting, I discussed board member compensation, and in particular, board member health insurance.
Previously we had written about excessive compensation, FOIA request for compensation, IMRF and Vehicle Allowances, DuPage County's initial refusal to provide health insurance participation payment information, passage of "retroactive" compensation for elected officials in DuPage County, non-answer answers to questions we presented, and a three-part (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3) response to the Letter on Compensation written by the DuPage County State's Attorney.
As we understand it today, all but one board member is participating in one way or another in the county employee health insurance program. Most are taking "opt-out" payments for not accepting the insurance, and others are actually taking the insurance and costing the taxpayers dearly.
The bottom line for today's public comment was to drive home the fact that even if everything was properly authorized, and we do not think it was, then the DuPage County Policy on health insurance pushes the county board members out of participation because they do not work full time, or 37.5 hours per week, as required by their own policy in order to participate (see part 2 of previous article).
DuPage County Board Members participating in IMRF:
These figures are the county's cost per month.
Cronin, Dan – $761.23
Curran, John – $288.20
Eckhoff, P – $293.83
Fichtner, Paul – $288.20
Healy, James – $288.20
Krajewski, Brian – $288.20
Puchaiski, Donald – $294.58
Zay, James – $294.58
DiCianni, Peter – $172.92
DuPage County Board Members participating in the Health and Dental Insurance Program are listed in one of the linked articles above.
Additionally, I requested, as the State's Attorney stated he would do if asked by the County Board, that the County Board ask the SA to obtain a written opinion from the Attorney General on the issues presented as it relates to all of the compensation being received, how it was approved, if new ordinances setting compensation automatically replace older ones, etc...
Here are the 11 questions I asked be answered in the AG's opinion (should they decide to seek one):
The State’s Attorney stated he would request an opinion from the Attorney General if asked, and we have previously asked DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin to seek such an opinion. We are asking again that DuPage County seek an opinion from the AG which includes at a minimum the following questions:
- Are “compensation” and “salary” synonymous in relation to the counties code mandate that the county “set the compensation” of county board members in accordance with the method of compensation selected?
- Are “compensation” and “salary” synonymous in relation to other elected officials (State’s Attorney, Sheriff, etc.) and their compensation as set by the county board?
- Does ALL compensation have to be included in any ordinance setting compensation – or can they keep using a 16-year-old resolution granting compensatory vehicle allowances, even after passing new compensation setting ordinances?
- Is Health, Dental, Vision, and Life Insurance considered compensation?
- Is participation in IMRF considered compensation?
- Is a vehicle allowance considered compensation?
- Are the opt-out payment provisions of the county’s insurance programs considered compensation?
- IF county elected officials are considered employees according to the counties code when discussing the authorization to provide for health insurance, are they bound by the county policy’s determination of the definition of which employees are eligible, [IE: must be “full time” (37.5 hours per week) employee in order to be eligible for county health insurance programs] absent any other provision in county policy specifically pertaining to elected officials and health insurance eligibility?
- Implied repeal – Does the passing of a new compensation setting ordinance “imply the repeal” of previously passed compensation setting ordinances for the same office(s)? Does it repeal the previous ordinance setting compensation for the same offices? Must a new ordinance be passed prior to every election? If a new ordinance is not passed prior to an election, does the most recent previous ordinance stay in effect?
- Can a county pay from its treasury any additional State’s Attorney compensation above the amount set by law or the compensation review board, whichever is greater? and if so, does that additional compensation have to be included in the compensation setting resolution?
- May the county pass an ordinance, after-the-fact, to approve previous compensation received, but never included in any previous compensation setting ordinances, even if that compensation [insurance] violated the county policy on insurance eligibility?
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