A mayor-appointed committee has recommended compensation levels for City officials who will be elected or re-elected in April 2021.

The committee, chaired by Cheryl Wollin with members Rebecca Berneck, Omar Brown, Nehanda Loiseau and Rick Marsh, recommended no increase in compensation for the 10 members of City Council and the City Clerk in 2021 and 2020. In 2023 and 2024, the recommended increase is the same percentage rate that non-union employees receive.

Health insurance, however, will be limited to the officials themselves. While no family coverage will be provided, officials may add that coverage at their own expense. The committee said implementing these recommendations will save the taxpayers an estimated $440,000 over the next four years.

The committee’s report said a survey of 16 suburban communities in Illinois, including Evanston, showed Evanston elected officials receive the highest compensation by far, and only two of the 16 offer health insurance. With the exception of the City Clerk, elected positions in City government are “part-time jobs of public service to the community,” the report noted, adding that, even with these changes, Evanston City Council members will be the “best compensated suburban council in the area. …

 “Although many impacted will experience a reduction in health benefits if re-elected, we trust that the current city council will agree that the compensation committee’s recommendations are fair, equal, and fiscally responsible.”

At the June 22 City Council meeting, aldermen accepted the recommendations and placed them on file.

Mary Gavin is the founder of the Evanston RoundTable. After 23 years as its publisher and manager, she helped transition the RoundTable to nonprofit status in 2021. She continues to write, edit, mentor...