Reboot Illinois: These 10 Illinois City Managers Make More Than any U.S. Governor IL9

March 29, 2016 01:00 AM


Reboot Contributor - Kevin Hoffman
MAR 29, 2016
New report spotlights the generous, pensionable salaries of Illinois city managers
A new report featured in Forbes Magazine found 72 city managers of relatively small municipalities in Illinois are paid more than the governors of every state.
Open the Books’ annual "Big Dogs" salary report on local government looks not only at city or village managers, but also employees of water districts, park districts, forest preserves and counties, to name a few.
Forbes contributor and founder of, Adam Andrzejewski, says the results of this year’s report are the "most jaw-dropping ever."
From the report:
At a time when many are complaining about Washington, D.C., our data shows that states and local units of government need a lot more scrutiny. That’s especially true in Illinois where corruption is our number one manufactured product. 
In Illinois, 72 small-town city and village managers out-earn every governor of the 50 states. Another 111 local employees of water districts, airport districts, park districts, counties, forest preserves, mass transit districts, health clinics and planning districts also earn more than the 50 governors ($180,000).
The list below shows the Top 10 city and village managers in Illinois with the highest pensionable salaries, according to Andrzejewski:
10. Sean Stegall  
  • Salary: $229,917
  • Employer: City of Elgin
  • Pop.: 111,117
9. Walter Bobkiewicz
  • Salary: $232,671
  • Employer: City of Evanston
  • Pop.: 75,658
8. Christopher Stephens 
  • Salary: $240,000
  • Employer: Village of Rosemont
  • Pop.: 4,226
7. Kevin Bowens 
  • Salary: $242,397
  • Employer: Village of Libertyville
  • Pop.: 20,512
6. Michael Janonis 
  • Salary: $250,544
  • Employer: Village of Mount Prospect
  • Pop.: 54,951
5. Robert Kiely
  • Salary: $256,196
  • Employer: City of Lake Forest
  • Pop.: 19,379
4. Reid Ottesen 
  • Salary: $260,296
  • Employer: Village of Palatine
  • Pop.: 69,387
3. Michael Ellis
  • Salary: $263,269
  • Employer: Village of Grayslake
  • Pop.: 21,018
2. Richard Nahrstadt
  • Salary: $263,392
  • Employer: Village of Northbrook
  • Pop.: 33,655
1. Lawrence Hileman 
  • Salary: $303,076
  • Employer: Village of Glenview
  • Pop.: 46,767
Open the Books also found the three highest-paid municipal employees don’t work for the Illinois government, but for private non-profit organizations with political connections.
More from the report:
Unbelievably, politically connected private non-profit associations are clouted into the public retirement system with taxpayer-backed lifetime pensions. Taxpayers have no control over the amount of annual salary awarded at these private organizations, but it’s the salaries that drive the lifetime retirement payouts. Salary spiking – when salaries are jacked up for a short period to increase pensions or to just milk the system – is common.
You can find Open the Books’ full report at To see the highest and lowest municipal salaries in 2015, click here.


Kevin Hoffman is a Reboot Illinois staff writer who graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in journalism, political science and minor in international studies. He believes keeping citizens informed and politicians in check is the best way to improve Illinois and bring about common sense reform. 



Original Article, click here.

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