It’s been said that money can’t make you happy, but if it does, then Ray McGury, the executive director of the Naperville Park District has to be the happiest guy in Naperville. Does anybody get paid more for doing less? I don’t think so, but I am open for nominations.
Consider this, the entire Naperville city council’s base compensation, including the mayor, totals $125,000 per year; $12,500 per council member X 8, plus $25,000 for the mayor. McGury’s base compensation is almost $208,000 per year. Additionally McGury receives $10,000 per year in deferred compensation, along with over $7,000 for auto allowance. That is an obscene base compensation package for someone who’s biggest decision is where to install a park bench and what color it will be.
McGury has been the park district executive director for nearly 10 years. Prior to that, he was the Bolingbrook Chief of Police from 2005 through 2008. It was during this period of time of his leadership that Drew Peterson was employed and receiving paychecks while Peterson’s fourth wife disappeared October of 2007, and has never been found. Peterson was subsequently found guilty for the death of his third wife and is serving a lengthy stay at the Graybar Hotel.
McGury understandably thought it would be a good idea to depart from his Bolingbrook position, and miraculously landed with the Naperville Park District. The board of the park district must have thought that McGury was the Messiah of Parks because they started him with a can’t-say-no compensation package, that has been escalating each and every year.
The Naperville Park District has a $39.6 million budget with an expected $43.5 million in revenues, yet the park district has inflicted an escalation in program fees and a property tax hike, in essence a sucker-punch to the residents of Naperville. How many families and kids won’t be able to utilize the park district programs because of fee increases, a portion of which, is earmarked to keep McGury employed.
McGury said, the increased fees are needed “so we can then allocate that money elsewhere for other things in the community”. By ‘other things’, that would include McGury’s compensation.
McGury also stated, “I remain honored to have the opportunity to lead a district that enriches the quality of life of residents”. By that comment, he is likely referring to ‘enriching the quality of his own life’. McGury also said that he was reluctant to discuss his compensation. Everything considered, that’s understandable.
McGury isn’t the culprit, it’s the Naperville Park District board members. If they are willing to over-compensate him, why shouldn’t he accept what they are offering. Wouldn’t most of us reading this do the same thing.
Getting back to the budget, the Naperville Park District appropriates a surplus over the budget to deal with unexpected expenses. Things come up like the time McGury was offered a position in a neighboring community. McGury mentioned it to the board, and bingo, another hefty compensation increase was thrown at McGury to stay, and he stayed. McGury is not the culprit.
McGury invested 21 years with the Naperville Police Department (prior to Bolingbrook) and attained the position of captain. He served and sacrificed, and for that I am grateful.
Naperville families are probably grateful too. But Naperville families do not need a property tax hike, and escalating park district program fees by the park district board.