The Madison County Board on Wednesday approved salary increases for the next four-year terms of the county clerk, treasurer and sheriff, but the increases don't begin until the third year of the terms.
Their salaries will remain at $96,803 for the first two years, then increase by 2.5 percent in the third and fourth years of office.
Before Wednesday's meeting, controversy arose when the board's executive committee considered adding $4,000 stipends to the clerk, treasurer and sheriffs' salaries to offset expected state contribution cutbacks. That measure failed to reach the board for a vote.
But, the board did authorize a $4,000 annual stipend for the sheriff as a salary for being "County Supervisor of Safety."
The board also authorized a $10,000 stipend for the regional superintendent of schools and a $3,750 stipend for the assistant superintendent of schools.
Treasurer Frank Miles, a Democrat who was appointed to his position last December to replace retiring Fred Bathon, said the county board found itself in "an awkward position" as they made their decision in an "extremely difficult economy."
"If these difficult economic conditions still persist...I will decline the cost of living adjustment and return the money to the county treasury."
Miles will face Kurt Prenzler, a Republican, in the November election.
Madison County Recorder of Deeds candidate Matt Rice, a Republican, said the public is already cynical enough about politicians' motives "even without the news that they are trying to increase their pay during a recession."
"In the real world, you're lucky to have a job, much less get a pay raise in this economy," Rice said. "The only thing this vote demonstrates is that our county officials need a wake‐up call this November."
Rice will face Democrat Kyle Anderson at the polls in November. Anderson was appointed to his seat in February after county recorder Dan Donohoo retired. Donohoo was recently appointed as a commissioner of the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission.
Madison County Sheriff Robert Hertz, a Democrat, will seek re-election in November. He will face Republican Bob Hulme.
Madison County Clerk Mark Von Nida, a Democrat, is unopposed.