Almost all officials elected to boards in River Forest serve as volunteers. All, that is, except three officials with River Forest Township.

Two of them, township Supervisor Carla Sloan and Assessor Pam Kende, received pay raises last month after a unanimous vote by township trustees. 

Sloan’s yearly pay will go from $33,000 to $36,000 effective May 15. The increase reflects that her paid weekly work hours will go from 20 to 22 for the part-time position. 

Kende’s annual salary for the 20 hour-per-week position will go from $29,000 to $32,000, effective Jan. 1, 2018; the term expires Dec. 31, 2017.

The salary of a third elected official, Secretary Abby Schmelling will remain at $6,243 annually, according to the 2016-17 township budget. There was no need to increase the salary, Sloan said, as Schmelling, who was just recently appointed, will continue to do the same work over the same number of hours each week. She takes the minutes at all trustees’ meetings and keeps township records, working five hours a week.

Base salaries can only be raised every four years, Sloan said. Sloan defended her raise noting that she performs similar functions to Village Administrator Eric Palm, Assistant Village Manager Lisa Scheiner and Finance Director Joan Rock and does not have staff to help her.

“Village has staff, I do not. I wear all the hats. While I get paid for 20 hours, I work a lot more than that,” Sloan said.

Kende got a pay raise, Sloan said, because her salary is low relative to other assessors and brings River Forest more in line with what other township assessors earn. Also, Sloan said, the assessor’s office was seeing increase in workload with more people coming in to talk about property tax appeals and various other things. 

“She works from a unique knowledge base and is required to keep up with continuing education. Pam is paid for 20 hours a week but she ends up working more than that,” Sloan said. 

During the busy season, including triannual assessments, Kende brings on a deputy assessor who works seven hours a week, Sloan said. 

By state law, townships must set the salaries for elected officials 180 days prior to the start of the next term in spring 2017. Salaries adopted by trustees are set for four years. None of the River Forest Township trustees receives a stipend. 

The township will make pension contributions for Sloan and Kende, amounting to $2,837 and $2,539 respectively, to the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, according to this year’s budget. Social Security taxes paid out of the township budget come to $3,025 and $2,846 respectively. 

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