HUNTLEY – Village trustees are expected to make Huntley’s president one of the highest-paid elected municipal leaders in the area during the board’s regular meeting tonight.
Trustees likely will approve a measure that increases Village President Chuck Sass’ compensation from $15,000 to $20,000 a year for his job as Huntley’s chief elected official. The pay raise would make Sass’ compensation higher than neighboring presidents in Algonquin, Woodstock, Lake in the Hills and Marengo, village research shows.
Huntley’s population boom, and the village’s efforts to wrangle county and state leaders to expand the village’s infrastructure has transformed the village president’s role into a full-time job, Trustee Harry Leopold said.
“We felt that figure was very justified,” Leopold said. “It’s a recognition of how Huntley has grown, and the contributions [Sass] has made.”
Leopold estimated that Sass devotes about 32 hours a week to his village presidential duties. The longtime president also has had to accompany Village Manager Dave Johnson and his staff on numerous trips to Chicago and Springfield to meet and lobby state leaders, Leopold said.
Sass, who is retired and has served as president since 2001, did not respond to calls for comment.
The original proposal would have raised his pay to $25,000 a year, but trustees agreed last week that amount was too large.
Leopold said the board last tried to increase Sass’ pay in 2009, but trustees opted to leave it at $15,000 since the village had not yet secured all the funding for the Route 47 widening project and the full interchange at Interstate 90 and Route 47.
The pay raise, if approved today, would go into effect in May – the start of the president’s next term. So far, Sass has been the only person to circulate election petitions for a re-election run.
Trustee Pam Fender said the pay proposal is a reflection of the president’s increased workload for a village that is still expected to reach a population of 40,000 or so residents.
Unlike the president, Fender and the village’s five other trustees are paid a $100-per-meeting stipend for attending board meetings.
“I just know I wouldn’t want the job for what it pays,” Fender said. “I really think the president’s job should have a better salary than it has right now.”