Good News: Big Money to be Made in Illinois. Bad news: it’s in Government

(Just like in nearly every state, the only people getting rich are those working for government…) With recent revelations that the city manager of the small, mostly low-income Hispanic community of Bell, California makes nearly $800,000 a year and that its police chief makes almost $500,000 yearly, the spotlight might be leveled at city employees all across the country. Illinois, as it happens, is no better for the squandering of such cash, it appears.

On July 31, the Chicago Tribune reported that the an executive of the Highland Park, Illinois park district makes $435,203 a year. And then there were the big bonuses.

Parks officials in the northern suburb say it was a good use of taxpayer dollars, even though the off-the-charts spending spree included giving the three executives nearly $700,000 in bonuses while paying one of them $185,120 for no work and signing over an SUV to him as he left town.

A “good use” of the taxpayer’s money? It’s a stinking park district, people!

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Sadly, its been going on for quite a while.

In 2005, Park District executive director Ralph Volpe, finance director Kenneth Swan and facilities director David Harris were paid $138,733, $124,908, and $135,403, respectively. That was about as much as the head of Illinois’ park system, who presided over a budget 14 times larger and had 17 times the number of employees as Highland Park.

Think this unaffordable waste of the taxpayer’s money only happens in ritzy suburbs and only to the big cheese executives and police chiefs?

Think again.

Riccardo Mora who resides in the village of Norridge has been following government officials in his own town for quite some time. He recently did some digging and says that the employees of his village Public Works Dept. have seen a 50.1% raises over the last four years. On his FaceBook page, Mora says, “YEP, the Village of Norridge, IL population 14k has increased the salaries of Public Works LABORERS 50.1% in just 4 years. In fiscal year 06-07 three public works laborers were earning $48,889.63, for fiscal year 10-11 their salary is $73,415.94.”

You can be sure that hundreds of the cities, villages, and townships across the Land of Lincoln have similar outrageous waste to report.

Government has simply become a racket by which those on the inside feather each other’s nests, fleece the taxpayers with salaries and bonuses that are undeserved, and retire with pensions several times higher than anyone who is forced to pay the bills.

So, while the rest of us are unemployed in the state of Illinois, these government fat cats are becoming millionaires on our dime. It’s time these people had their pensions slashed, their salaries cut, and new people elected to replace them at lower compensation packages.

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