For the Good of Illinois

Forbes: The “Big Dogs” of Illinois Municipal Government

October 26, 2015 05:33 AM


At, we have completed our annual 
"Big Dogs" salary report of IL municipal government. 
The results are the most stunning ever...


By Adam Andrzejewski | January 27, 2015
Click here to read today's Forbes editorial 

52 city and village managers out-earn every governor of the 50 states. School district treasurers are hauling in up to $485,000. Rank-and-file county employees are racking up $260,000 with massive lifetime pension spikes. But, incredibly, the top three "municipal" employees-- with salaries over $300,000 plus-- don't even work for government...

1. 52 Village and City Managers Out-earn Every Governor of the 50 States.  Here's the Top Five:

  • Lawrence Hillman ($292,124)- City of Glenview (pop 45,417)
  • Michael Ellis ($258,381)- Village of Grayslake (pop 21,101)
  • Richard Nahrstadt ($251,918)- Village of Northbrook (pop 33,170)
  • Michael Janonis ($241,852)- Village of Mt. Prospect (pop. 54,505)
  • Christopher Stephens ($240,000)- Village of  Rosemont (pop 4,202)

Please click here to read more at Forbes- see the Top Ten City & Village Managers Out-Earning All Governors


2. "Legal Corruption"-- Top Three Illinois "Municipal" Employees Don't Even Work for Government. Probably the most egregious example of - "insiders gaming the system for personal gain"- are the top three "municipal" salaries of 2014:

  • Illinois Municipal League Larry Frang ($392,423)
  • Illinois Association of Park Districts Peter Murphy ($360,553)
  • Park District Risk Management Association Brett Davis ($305,278)

Employed in the private sector, these chiefs don't even work for government, but special legislation "muscled" them into the government pension systems. 

Please click here to read more at Forbes today

3.  Nerds that Glitter-- School District Treasurers. The bean counters really have a sweet deal. 

  • Thornton Township's Eugene Varnado pulled in $239,688 while running his CPA  firm
  • Bloom Township's Robert Grossi hauled in $230,318
  • North Shore SD 112's Mohsin Dada double dipped the Teacher's Retirement System and the Illinois Municipal pensions for a combined 2014 income of over $485,000!  Mohsin's pension from the Teacher's Retirement System is over $240,000 and his new income from North Shore School District 112 is $245,880-- up from $202,903 just two years ago in 2012.

Please click here to read more at Forbes - it's local treasurers, human resource managers, attorneys and more gaming the Illinois pay and pension systems.

4. Rank-and-file DuPage County employees racking up millions in pay and pensions. DuPage County has a history of living large.

  • In 2002, county administrator Donald Zeilenga pulled in $383,156.
  • In 2009, state's attorney bureau chief Michael Wolfe hauled in $340,630.
  • In 2011, county engineer Charles Tokarski made $340,147.
  • In 2014, first assistant state's attorney Nancy Wolfe spiked to $248,083.
  • In fact, in 2014, DuPage County had ten employees collectively earn more than $2.021 million! Now, is that "Moving DuPage Forward"?

Please click here to read more at Forbes regarding "The 'Big Dogs" of Illinois Municipal Government


5. The managers of the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund are racking up terrific pay hikes: Over the last two years, Chief Investment Officer Shah Dhvani's pensionable salary increased from $208,003 to $286,826. Executive Director Louis Kosiba's salary has increased from $126,703 in 2001 to $242,518 in 2014- the- same job title and duties and an $116,000 pay hike. 

Read my Forbes column today 


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Concerned Citizen
Highland Park, IL
1/28/2015 01:36 PM

  Is the Lawrence Hillman of Glenview fame the same person who also owns Hillco Holdings, Inc? They have offices in Northbrook, IL on Lake Cook Road, and own many commercial and residential properties in Highland Park and Deerfield. They own many properties in downtown Highland Park. If this is the case, one has to wonder just WHY he's demanding such a high salary from the City of Glenview, and how he can possibly do that job when he's running the holding company below. LAWRENCE HILLMAN HILLCO HOLDINGS INC. POB 608, 1945 Sunnyside - HIGHLAND PARK, IL USA 60035 TEL: 847-579-9745 FAX: 847-631-0768 EMAIL: LARRY@HILLCOREALTY.COM personal: According to the Illinois Secretary of State, the company's been in business since 1988 and had some previous names: 04/28/1988 - HIGHLAND PARK APARTMENTS, INC. 10/24/1991 - KIRBCO DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION 12/10/2013 - KIRBCO INVESTMENT CO., INC. Doesn't seem to pass the smell test to me...