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Daily Herald Covers City Manager Pay

Our “Big Dogs” email blast prompted an article by the Daily Herald.

Group questions Grayslake manager’s $259,000-plus salary in 2011

Behrend said taxpayers no longer can afford what the group considers to be excessive salaries and pensions for government employees such as Ellis, whose base went from $120,585 in 2000 to $259,252 in 2011. He questioned how Ellis more than doubled his pay in 11 years.

“Is paying this guy this much money the best use of our tax dollars?” Behrend said.

Grayslake Mayor Rhett Taylor said while he understands the criticism of Ellis’ compensation, village residents are receiving good value. He said Ellis has kept the village debt-free, saved money by outsourcing jobs typically performed by municipal employees and crafts balanced budgets.

We don’t have anything personal against these high-earning city managers. We just can’t afford them anymore. The number of people, their salaries, their end-of-career-spikes, and their pensions, are simply destroying the state.

We provide more details in this blog post.


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5 Responses to "Daily Herald Covers City Manager Pay"


  1. Comment by Tim Perry on May 12, 2012 at 5:54 pm said:

    I served on the Grayslake Village Board from 1996 to 2009, including two terms as Mayor, 2001-2009. During my 13 years, almost half of Ellis’ tenure in Grayslake, his performance and pay was reviewed by the full board of trustees annually. Salary recommendations were made and voted on without any controversy. That hs been the process for decades.

    The proven value of his efforts and knowledge the Village of Grayslake taxpayers were obvious. Ellis has worked for 5 different mayors, more than 50 trustees in his 28 years. In sum, his performance for the taxpayers of our community is outstanding and the salary level reflects his performance. If “For the Good of Illinois” really wants to help uncover bad financial situations in municipalities and taxing districts, you should use the performance of the Village of Grayslake as the benchmark to measure other communities.

    Outsourcing of services using independent contractors has saved Grayslake tens of millions of dollars since Ellis instituted this philosphy 28 years ago. Instead of using this easy headline grab about salary, why don’t you analyze the rising costs of service in communities, or in the case of Grayslake, the declining cost of services to residents, look at budget performance, spending per capita, etc. etc.

    Groups like yours are always paying lip service to the phrase “pay for performance” in government jobs. This is a perfect example of that phrase in action. Look deeper into the financial situations of the communities that employ the other high paid village managers. That is where the real headlines are.

  2. Comment by Timothy on May 24, 2012 at 2:09 pm said:

    So maybe, we can downsize his adept services and lower his payroll (by half) and look forward to a little debt, more outsourced jobs, and maybe have a budget surplus. Work with this, people!

  3. Comment by JOE CITIZEN on May 24, 2012 at 3:16 pm said:

    The job is to manage money. So, if he doesn’t do his job he would still be paid the original salary. Hello! If you don’t do your job, you get FIRED.

    I’m all for pay for performance but doubling SALARY? C’mon, that doesn’t pass any smell test. Was it too difficult to have a base salary and then a bonus when there is real savings (not just oh, we saved you money because we didn’t buy something). Tim Perry indicates that this has been going on for decades. NICE….

    Regardless if you are Democrat or Republican, these stories should outrage you. People are loosing their homes because they can’t find work and these guys line their pockets. Quite frankly, this is a good example of a village board and trustees that have breached their fiduciary responsibilities and rewarded their friends with unjust enrichment. Perhaps the attorney general should investigate these potentially fraudulent schemes. They can all hang out with Blaggo.

    God Bless America!

  4. Comment by Steven Johnson on May 24, 2012 at 5:11 pm said:

    What you said may have merit in times when we have 4% unimployment and a strong ecnomy. The fact is whether or not he has saved the village money is irrelevant. He is making more than most of the poeple who live there and his pension will be far greater than anything the private sector has to offer. I am sure he is a good man and does his job well. The the sad fact is that the state and most local governments are broke. The state legislature has turned a deaf ear to the warnings and the state is on the brink of bancrupsy. The nation isn’t far behind. We can no longer afford to pay the public sectors these huge salaries. Taxes keep going up and up while our property values go down and 10% of the state is out of work. Read the handwriting on the wall. We are headed over a cliff unless we get the insane spending under control and do it NOW. That means pay cuts across the board for everyone (yes even teachers, police and fire) and all other government employess NOW. If it isn’t done, the state and the federal government will collapse into the worst depression ever seen, Eclipsing 1929. It is time to get fiscally responsible and the time is NOW>

  5. Comment by Mike on May 24, 2012 at 9:15 pm said:

    Point I’m getting from this is that the majority of Grayslake residents have no clue how much on an increase in salary the “board,” whoever they are, are approving one man’s salary. Did the Grayslake residents have a say.?