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Grayslake Village Manager Total Comp May Exceed $350,000

For the Good of Illinois


In 1998, as a newly hired village manager Michael Ellis was making a starting base salary of $93,000 (see contract). Today, Ellis makes $259,252 on base salary with other benefits increasing total compensation between $350,000 and $400,000 annually. More than salary, it’s also about the cost of perquisites and other benefits.

Ellis has a contract in force since 1998 that currently provides for:

 A full year of salary and health insurance if he is terminated.

 Full annual automobile reimbursement.

 Taxpayer funding of a second retirement plan- a “deferred compensation retirement plan”

in addition to funding his lucrative public pension plan…

. Taxpayer funded premiums into a whole life insurance policy (a de facto third retirement plan) equal to a death benefit amount of Ellis’ full annual salary. Ellis chooses the plans beneficiary and keeps all cash value and benefits at retirement.

 Generous sick and vacation provisions to accumulate and pay-out unused days.

 Taxpayer funded full tuition reimbursement to continue his college “continuing education”.

 Travel and all expenses annually to a “national conference”

 A “NO- REDUCTION” clause in contract preventing Grayslake from reducing Ellis salary or benefits individually; all reductions have to be across-the-board for all village employees.

The perks and benefits are worth at least an extra $115,000 per year. Without additional foia’s, we conservatively estimate the following taxpayer costs:

pension payment ($42,000),

 deferred comp plan ($10,000),

 whole life policy ($10,000),

 auto ($5,000),

 severance and “no-reduction” clause (1/10th chance of occurrence, $28,000 value),

 sick & vacation days ($5,000),

 annual health insurance cost ($15,000).

Therefore, salary of $259,252 plus $115,000 equals $374,252.

Without a full, in-depth compensation analysis, we estimate that Ellis has a contract worth between $350,000 and $400,000 annually.

Background: 57 city & village managers and administrators out-earn all 50 governors. New York is the highest paid governor at a salary of $179,000; the second highest paid governor is Illinois at $177,500. http://www.therichest.org/nation/highest-paid-america-governors/

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