Update on Pensions for Part-Time County Board Members
Earlier this year in January, I told you about the incredibly generous compensation package part-time DuPage County Board Members receive [VIDEO]. At that time, we started an online petition for voters to pledge to support only those candidates who would propose eliminating publicly funded pensions for part-time DuPage County Board Members.
As of today, 8 DuPage County Board Member candidates in 3 separate districts throughout DuPage County have pledged to propose eliminating the taxpayer funded pension for part-time County Board Members, if elected.
Quite a change from the current County Board Members who in December just voted to keep paying themselves this lucrative benefit! So, what happened? Transparency happened. At least, among the candidates. Once voters got wind of this benefit—which comes in addition to a hefty salary—they were quick to voice their outrage.
I’m proud of having taken leadership on this issue—to have lead the charge in informing voters about this ridiculous perk. I’m proud that it’s looking like change has already been effected—in terms of public sentiment—before the elections.
Of course, some candidates continue to defend why they are entitled to this benefit—and why taxpayers should pay for it even though the Board Members make a great wage for part-time work. To me, this reveals some true motives of the candidates: they seem to be interested in their own comfort and well-being, their own careers as politicians than the taxpayers.
But this is the reason we need to press for ever-increasing transparency (like here and here) in our government. It holds political and governmental officials accountable to the people they work for—the taxpayers. Many politicians say they are for transparency and reducing taxes and spending, but as we’ve seen with the current County Board, when they could’ve taken steps toward these things with the pension issue, they failed to. To protect their own perks.
The issue of taxpayer-funded pensions for Part-Time elected officials goes to the heart of what’s wrong with politics in Illinois. It serves as a powerful magnet for career politicians.
By going against the career politicians who hold a lot of power in DuPage County on this issue, I have demonstrated that I have the backbone necessary to champion an issue that most taxpayers support—even when it goes against the political ruling class.
Win or lose this election, I will consider it a victory for taxpayers if the next DuPage County Board eliminates tax payer funded pensions for Part-Time County Board Members.