Ald. Ed Smith rejects pay raise

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Smith, who has been alderman for 27 years, is up for re-election in February along with every other alderman. He said the upcoming election has nothing to do with his decision not to support a pay hike for aldermen.

One West Side alderman said he would not support any effort by the City Council to increase aldermen pay at a time when the economy is abusing Chicago residents and taxpayers.

“I think anyone who can give back should,” Ald. Ed Smith (28th) told the Defender. “The citizens of this city is hurting and they should not be the only ones making sacrifices.”

Smith, who has been alderman for 27 years, is up for re-election in February along with every other alderman. He said the upcoming election has nothing to do with his decision not to support a pay hike for aldermen.

“If you are able to buy milk and pay your bills then you should give up something,” he added.

There are 50 aldermen and Smith is one of five who earn $106,644 a year after taking 24 furlough days, which is optional for aldermen. The current salary for aldermen is $110,556 a year and each alderman, classified as a part-time city employee, receives an expense allowance of $73,280.

State law requires aldermen to address pay raises six months before a new term begins and then prevents aldermen from raising their salaries for the next four years. So if aldermen decide not to boost their pay this year it will be another four years before they could do so again.

According to the city’s 2010 budget, the highest paid employee is police Supt. Jody Weiss, who earns $310,000 a year. 

Copyright 2010 Chicago Defender.

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