Letter to the Editor
Earlier this month, County Board members Mick Madison (R – Bethalto) and Stacey Pace (R – Troy) tried – unsuccessfully – to get a pay hike (Madison $53,000 and Pace $10,000), in addition to the $14,500 salary that all county board members receive.
Their plan was moving forward, and on Tuesday, Jan. 10, this item was posted on the agendas of both the Personnel and Finance committees:
“Discussion and Approval of a Resolution Authorizing Stipends for the Chairperson Pro Tem and the Vice Chairperson Pro Tem.”
Noticing that, I immediately asked administration employees what was going on, and was told that in late December, Madison and Pace said they wanted more money, and asked employees to assist them to get it through the county board.
In December, both Madison and Pace voted to take powers away from the Chairman and transfer these powers to themselves as Pro Tem and Vice Pro Tem.
Almost immediately, they began pushing for a pay raise.
Of course, I was elected (twice) by the voters to exercise the duties of Chairman and am currently being paid to do that.
Madison and Pace asked the State’s Attorney’s Office to draft a resolution to give them stipends, but were refused.
Their effort ended on Thursday, Jan. 12, when the finance and personnel committee chairmen quietly removed the “stipend resolution” item from their committee agendas.
The actions of Madison and Pace are disappointing on several levels. First, they should have known that compensation for elected officials is approved before elections. Second, they should not have tried to get paid for a job they were not elected to do.
Twenty years ago, Madison County citizens overwhelmingly voted to leave the era of Nellie Hagnauer and Rudy Papa, chairmen who were elected by the county board.
Former county board member Gene Frizzo (R – Godfrey, 2000 – 2004) led a grassroots effort to gather 16,300 signatures on petitions to put a referendum on the ballot to let the voters decide whether the Chairman should be elected by the people, or by board members.
Voters settled that question in April of 2003 by a 4 to 1 margin (19,093 to 4,691), voting that the Chairman should be elected by the people.
Kurt Prenzler, CPA
Madison County Chairman