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Carol Stream

DuPage County Forest Preserve board votes to cut own salaries

Future commissioners and presidents of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County may be taking a pay cut after the 2014 election cycle, if a proposed ordinance is passed.

The forest preserve's Board of Commissioners overwhelmingly voted 5 to 1 in favor of pursuing an ordinance that would reduce board members' salaries from $53,500 to $50,000 during an Aug. 12 board meeting, according to Forest Preserve Spokesperson Susan Olafson. The number is based on the amount that DuPage County Board members are paid, after the County Board elected to freeze salaries through November 2016, according to a County Board spokesperson.

Only outgoing forest preserve Board President D. Dewey Pierotti Jr. abstained from the vote. Commissioner Mary Lou Wehrli voted against the ordinance.

Olafson said that Wehrli opposed the idea on principle and said that their salaries should be even lower, as the job has become more part time and less involved over the years.

The position of forest preserve board president would receive a much more drastic reduction, from $112,258 to $75,000, Olafson said. County Board Chairman Dan Cronin is currently paid $121,540.

If the ordinance passes, the new pay scale will go into effect with the election of the forest preserve's next president, as Pierotti does not plan to run again in 2014.

Olafson said that a formal recommendation will be made to the Board of Commissioners at the end of the month, when it will be brought to a vote.

Commissioners of the Forest Preserve District did not respond to requests for comment.

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