If you are looking for job security, a great benefit package, and a hefty salary, look no further than the City of Naperville. The City of Naperville’s Earnings Report for the year of 2015, shows 300+ city employees each receiving more than $100,000 yearly in salary. Of those 300+ employees, about 70% work in the police and fire departments, and the remaining 30% include city staff, or slightly less than 100 employees pulling in 6-figures or more in salary.
Good for the police department and fire department employees. If there are two groups that should be high on the salary totem pole, it should be the folks who race towards danger, rather than race away from it. Yes, I know some of those folks are administrative, however during their careers, many have paid their dues facing possible dangerous situations. Others in administrative positions, are responsible for making sure those on the front line have the tools and training they need to get their jobs done safely. Those are necessary salary dollars, so the rest of us can live in a safer environment.
How about that group of almost 100 employees cashing-in with salaries of over $100,000 per year, which equates to over $10 million yearly. When exactly did the term of ‘civil servant’ go out of style? I’m guessing about 50 years ago. With over 5 million people in the Chicago area, and nearly 340 million folks in the country, it would appear that there is a lot of talent city officials could tap and save a bundle on salary. To think that those 100 or so city staff folks are the best available, would be as foolish as thinking the nine members of the Naperville city council are the most talented out of 144,000 Naperville residents. Surely there are six or seven residents that would be a definite upgrade to current city council.
City officials say the reasons for high salaries include:
- retain talent
- decrease turnover
- hire talent
- it’s a ‘point of pride’
Wow, a point of pride, are you kidding me. So we want others to know we have the money (tax dollars) to overpay city employees, thereby qualifying as a “wealthy city”. Why not just add another ‘zero’ to the 6-digit salary and become the wealthiest city in the nation. What’s another ‘zero’ when it comes from the taxpayers anyway.
The real problem is not necessarily the high salaries, it’s the ‘job security’ issue. Under-performers are allowed to stay and keep under-performing. Apparently the City does not subscribe to the 10% rule, which means get-rid of 10% of the lowest performers, to then be replaced with potentially higher performers. Each year you have a new low-performing 10% group, and eventually even your lowest 10% are performing at an acceptable level. If the City of Naperville was a major league baseball team, they could be the Cubs of municipal government by following this 10% rule.
If the City truly wants a ‘point of pride’, how about being the most competent, efficient and friendliest municipal government in the mid-west as a starter.