Countywide salaries for Cook County officials had not been adjusted since 2000, according to the ordinance approved Tuesday.
The one-year elevation amounts to a $17,000 increase for Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, from $170,000 to $187,000. Each board commissioner will see a bump of $8,500, to a total of $93,500, except the finance chair, who will see a rise from $90,000 to $99,000.
Get 4 weeks of Crain’s for $1
During the Finance Committee meeting preceding the full Board of Commissioners vote on Tuesday, the League of Women Voters and the Chicago Civic Federation opposed the annual “increase in perpetuity.”
Laurence Msall, president of the Civic Federation, said “reasonable salary raises” were justified, but “we do not support automatically” increasing salaries.
Instead, the board should take a vote on raises every four years, he said.
“If there is a need for further adjustments in the future, they should reflect the actual duties and responsibilities and any changes that have occurred in those offices,” he said.
The vote comes a month before county officials face primary fights.
Richard Boykin, a former board commissioner who is mounting a primary challenge to Preckwinkle, also criticized the raise during the meeting, saying “pay raises should be based on performance.”
“Simply put, now is not the time to pat yourselves on your back and line your pockets while children are literally dying in the streets,” he said.
But Commissioner Deborah Sims, who is retiring before the next term, said commissioners are “entitled to get a pay increase.”
“There’s no way that anybody should work on a job with the way cost of living is going up and continue to work at a job without a pay increase,” she said.
Voting for the salary increase were Commissioners Alma Anaya, 7th; Scott Britton, 14th; John Daley, 11th; Bridget Degnen, 12th; Bridget Gainer, 10th; Brandon Johnson, 1st; Bill Lowry, 3rd; Donna Miller, 6th; Stanley Moore, 4th; Kevin Morrison, 15th; Peter Sylvestri, 9th; Sims, 5th; and Larry Suffredin, 13th.
Those voting against the increase were Commissioners Frank Aguilar, 16th; Luis Arroyo, 8th; Dennis Deer, 2nd; and Sean Morrison, 17th.
You can support independent local reporting for pennies a day. Full access to Crain’s costs $3.25 a week.