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Joliet City Manager is a $463,000 Whale.

March 29, 2011
by Adam Andrzejewski
CEO| For The Good of Illinois

In 2008, Joliet hired a new City Manager. His starting base salary was $189,000.

For 2011, the base salary increased to $196,500 and the City Manager out-earned every governor of the 50 states.

In addition to this lucrative salary, $7,500 of taxpayer money goes into a “deferred compensation” retirement plan. The deferred comp plan is in addition to what the taxpayers pay into his pension plan: $28,800 into Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) pension. Contractually, Joliet taxpayers are required to fund lucrative perquisites: $6,000 in estimated annual car allowance; an estimated $4,000 in continuing education, fees and costs to maintain the Managers’ personal law license; and an estimated annual $17,500 of taxpayer funded premium payments for life, health, and dental insurances.

Click here to review our overview of Joliet City Manager 2011 Compensation Analysis.

Then the City Manager became a “banker”.

When the City Manager was hired in 2008, he negotiated a “vacation bank” and a “sick bank”. His “vacation bank” of 4 weeks is valued at $15,100 and his “sick hours bank” of 1,500 hours is valued at over $141,300. In 2011, the taxpayer liability associated with these two “banks” totaled approximately $156,400.

As Donald Trump said, “You’re fired.” Ahh, think again- taxpayers. A lump sum severance payment for this City Manager could be as high as- $375,900!

The City Manager has the “financial insulation” of a friendly severance clause. If terminated for any reason except felony conviction or official mis-conduct or manager ‘abandonment of office’, taxpayers are on the hook for a lump sum payment equal to a full year of base salary and “any other benefits paid by the city’s fringe benefit ordinance”. The lump sum severance liability is calculated as follows: Base salary ($196,500), Insurances ($17,400), Car Allowance ($6,000), Vacation bank ($15,000) and Sick hours bank ($141,000).

Despite the incredibly lucrative employment contract terms described above, this City Manager successfully negotiated for even more “dollars”.

The City of Joliet agreed to file form IMRF 6.05 and back the manager’s claim that he was owed an additional 9.5 years of extra retirement credits. This would have added 9.5 credit years and $760,000 of credit “earnings” to the calculation of the City Manager’s future pension. Taxpayers would have been on the hook for this new massive lifetime pension liability.

Thankfully, the application form 6.05 was rejected by IMRF administrators. But, the City Manager wasn’t finished with his claim. He appealed it to the full IMRF Board of Trustees. The full Board then issued a final rejection saving Illinois taxpayers an incredible amount of money.

The City Manager of Joliet is re-defining “public servant”. There is a new term.


1 Click here to review Joliet City Manager Employment Contract
2 Click here to review the IMRF form 6.05
3 The “big ticket” compensation items (above)- base salary, contract deferred comp, vacation bank, sick bank, IMRF pension contributions- have all been confirmed via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The “estimated amounts” in this post are good faith estimates based on industry information. Actual amounts could vary from estimated amounts +/- 10%. Therefore, the estimated items- car package, legal expenses, actual insurance cost vs. industry averages- could vary from estimated amounts (+/- 10%), but not be a statistically significant driver of more/less total compensation.

Leave a Comment

11 Responses to "Joliet City Manager is a $463,000 Whale."

  1. Comment by fran s on March 29, 2011 at 2:41 pm said:

    Adam and associates, KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK. It’s patriots like you that are fighting to save our country. We are the Land of the Free and the HOME of the BRAVE. You all are the Brave ones as well as our military. Keep exposing these RATS that steal our hard earned money.

    Thank You,
    Fran S

  2. Comment by Chi-Spidey on March 29, 2011 at 2:42 pm said:

    If not a crime, it should be mandatory to have penalties assessed for public employees that attempt to bilk a system out of monies that are clearly unearned. Attempted assault, attempted murder receive penalties. If nothing else when administrators receive unrealistic requests such as this it should be referred to an ethics committee and dealth with on a prefessional level to determine if the person is fit to serve in pubilc office.

  3. Comment by carson lauffer on March 29, 2011 at 2:59 pm said:

    Looks like our city manager has been servicing us for some time now. Bend over and touch your toes. Have any of the mayoral candidates or district councilmen addressed this issue?

  4. Comment by SouthIL on March 29, 2011 at 6:36 pm said:

    How does someone on the job only 3 years have 1.500 sick hours accumulated? I’ve worked over 20 and only have a little over 2,000. This is at least the second case I’ve heard of where a private contractor (city attorney) is trying to retroactively claim IMRF credit for the time he/she was maintaining a private practice and fulfilling a contractual responsibility. Cities and other public entities need to beware of the tactic and take steps to block it when they hire. If they don’t, voters need to pay attention and hold them accountable. That’s a huge chunk of money and it comes out of the taxpayers’ pockets.

  5. Comment by concerned resident on March 30, 2011 at 12:41 am said:

    Hard to believe that the City Council would agree to that. WOW! What were they thinking???

  6. Comment by Tea Partier on March 30, 2011 at 4:44 am said:

    This “city manager” ( I wish someone would mention his name) is a manager of his own get-rich quick scheme. And, Who are the MORONS that hired him???

  7. Comment by Administrator on March 30, 2011 at 6:06 am said:

    We didn’t mention names, because it’s not personal. It’s system wide. Joliet is a particularly egregious example but local government excess is happening in most locals. We are encouraging citizens to… get involved now.
    Please sign up to receive our emails.

  8. Comment by Ron H on March 30, 2011 at 10:00 am said:

    News articles lie this should be published repeatedly in all the local newspapers as editorials. What do the editors have to comment on this situation? The city councils that put this kind of package together should be run out of town.. These jobs are appointed not elected. I can only believe the voters are fools or preoccupied with other issues.

  9. Comment by Shoey on March 30, 2011 at 12:02 pm said:

    simply incredible, it’s like they don’t even live in the same world as the rest of us.

  10. Comment by lauren stephens on March 31, 2011 at 3:43 pm said:

    this is nothing compared to the city of bell, in california. the entire city was on the take. MILLIONS of dollars… one day, the people got crazy and it didnt take long for the entire city to get fired! this takes a lot more than talking. someone needs to be doing some doing!!

  11. Comment by ROBERT HABERKORN on March 31, 2011 at 3:50 pm said:

    Great research Adam, i did pass this on to Don & Irma today.