County Board member questions Kendall health pay hikes
By Steve Lord email@example.com April 9, 2012 12:38PM
Updated: May 12, 2012 8:04AM
A Kendall County Board member wants to meet with the county’s Board of Health to discuss Health Department changes that resulted in pay bumps for four administrators.
Anne Vickery, Finance Committee chairman, said the pay hikes, which she referred to as raises, totaled more than $35,000.
“I don’t know what to say about this,” she said. “This is a big transfer of wealth, not to the taxpayers, but inside the Health Department.”
She suggested the County Board meet with the Board of Health, which oversees and approves Health Department operations and approved the pay changes, to “sit down and … have a real discussion.”
But Health Department Director Dr. Amaal Tokars said the pay bumps to the four employees were just part of a more far-reaching restructuring of the department that actually results in a $35,000 savings in the immediate budget, and a $13,000 cut in the budget each year going forward.
Tokars recently rose from assistant director of the Health Department to director, replacing longtime director Cheryl Johnson, who retired. Tokars said she eliminated her former position, because there was no one with the qualifications to take it over and because it would be costly to hire someone from the outside.
She redistributed the responsibilities of her old job among five different employees, four of whom got the pay changes, she said. She also did not fill some other openings at the department that were created by attrition.
“It is a saving of $35,000, not spending more,” she said. “The result of attrition is that some salaries are going up, and some are going down.”
Tokars said it looked like she was only giving raises to four employees because those pay raise slips went through the Finance Committee, as is necessary, but the other changes did not have to go through the County Board.
The Board of Health approved the changes after much discussion, Tokars said.
County Board member Jeff Wehrli, who is the board’s liaison with the Board of Health, said the changes were not raises, they were changes in pay connected to different responsibilities.
“When there are shifts of positions, people get different salaries,” he said.