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County committee supports 5 percent raises

GENEVA – The 5 percent raises proposed for several Kane County directors have cleared another hurdle toward final approval.

In a 5-1 vote Wednesday, the Finance/Budget Committee approved salary bumps for the public health director, emergency management director, supervisor of assessments, human resource management director and finance director.

The raises range from $3,246 to $6,076, according to agenda documents.

Each of the raises – except for that for the finance director – received initial approval last week by other committees.

Finance Director Joe Onzick’s proposed raise was not brought forward for consideration before Wednesday.

The raises are part of a larger effort by Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen to make director salaries more comparable to those offered by other counties in the region.

Onzick, for example, earns $115,000 – an amount about $16,700 below his lowest paid counterpart and nearly $44,000 below the average salary paid to his counterparts, according to agenda documents.

The philosophy is to protect talent and reward achievement, Lauzen has said.

As different committees considered different raises last week, board members said they looked forward to seeing how each proposed raise fit into the bigger picture. That discussion, however, was closed to the public Wednesday, as the committee voted to conduct the hourlong conversation in executive session.

After the meeting, Lauzen said he “very much appreciates” the board members’ support of the raises.

The issue will come before the Executive Committee next week, at which time Lauzen said he will present seven things people need to know about the proposed raises.

Lauzen said he has received a couple of calls from constituents about the proposed raises and invited others to contact him at 630-232-5931.

“They’re important calls because they help me focus my thinking,” he said.

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