No raise for Oak Park village manager

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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

Oak Park Village Manager Tom Barwin was recently up for his yearly performance review, and based on that effort, village hall's top administrator will be receiving no raise.

The village board approved the contract change on Monday night with no comment after discussing it in a closed meeting beforehand. Trustee Ray Johnson said the slow economic recovery factored into the decision, along with numerous other elements. He declined to say whether Barwin received a favorable evaluation but did say village hall needs to improve its Building and Property Standards Department.

Barwin's base pay will remain at $165,411 this year. However, he will be receiving a one-time, lump sum payment of $4,135 based on his performance. Johnson pointed to the village's improving finances and decreasing crime rate as reasons to give the perk.

Overall, the five-year manager said he is satisfied with the evaluation.

"If you embrace the notion of being accountable, you accept both the compliments about strengths and achievements, and you have to equally accept the input about shortcomings and areas that need more attention," Barwin said.

Last year's evaluation resulted in Barwin getting a 2.24-percent raise to his base pay, and an $11,325 performance-based bonus. But he asked to have those payments deferred, as village hall's nonunion employees are in a wage freeze. He said Tuesday that the village is continuing to defer those payments.

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Posted: June 24th, 2011 10:18 PM

Can someone please explain to me why Mr. Barwin gets credit for lowering the crime rate? Did Chief Tanksley get an increase? Do the Police Officers have a current labor contract in place? The Village Board needs to look at the big picture.

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: June 23rd, 2011 9:57 AM

It is not a question of the crime rate.The question should be the clear up rate of offenses. If there are`10 robberies in May, and 5 robberies in June. the "crime rate" is down 50% for June . however, there were still 15 robberies in the two months.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: June 22nd, 2011 11:38 PM

If Ray Johnson's crime assessment is correct, then the village should consider hiring a community psychiatrist to counsel the residents that there concerns are delusional and seriously out of touch with the OP reality expressed by Ray. Of course, the statistical crime decline could be the results of better locks and home lighting. I think a simple 40 year trend chart showing annual violent crimes should be considered before putting residents on the coach for a pysch consult.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 22nd, 2011 10:28 PM

Thanks to Trustee Johnson for providing the facts on crime in Oak Park. I was glad to see that he cited the criminal justice system as being an important component of effective crime prevention. Career criminals and repeat offenders represent a very small percentage of the general population yet we spend considerable amounts of tax dollars and resources to apprehend and punish. They have proven they cannot be rehabilated and will continue to prey on the law-abiding. It's time to end this dance.

Lower Barwin's Pay from Oak Park  

Posted: June 22nd, 2011 9:48 PM

Let's lower Barwin's pay by the amount of the crossing guards he won't pay for. Kid's safety before village manager comfort. He can earn the money back if he catches the Oak Park Choker.

Adele from OP  

Posted: June 22nd, 2011 2:36 PM

Is the crime rate down in all categories? Have there been any changes in how crimes are categorized by the police? Are there crimes that do not get categorized appropriated (I believe Pam Zeckman did a piece on this re Chicago's crime rate). It is hard to buck the feeling that robberies and assaults are on the rise.

Ray Johnson from Oak Park  

Posted: June 22nd, 2011 1:57 PM

Re: Crime Rates - after hitting a 40 year low in 2010, crime thru April was down an additional 28%. Headlines suggest rampant crime, but the actual crime rate doesn't support this. As I've said many times, however, if you've been a victim of a crime the rate doesn't matter. A continued strong partnership between the public, neighboring police departments, OP Police, and the criminal justice system are all crucial.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 22nd, 2011 1:56 AM

There's plenty to go around, John. I wish Trustee Johnson would provide some hard facts regarding the crime rate in Oak Park. This forum explodes with panic and misinformation in response to reports of criminal activity within the community. We read "Fire the Police Chief!", "We need guns!", "Oak Park is headed in the wrong direction!". People need to know how well we are being serving by our police officers and the effectiveness of anti-crime measures.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: June 22nd, 2011 12:12 AM

Ahhhh! The blame game begins!

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