LYNWOOD | The Village Board approved Tuesday an increase of $46,000 for the village president's salary -- more than doubling it to $85,000 effective April 2013.
The board voted 4-0-1 in favor of the ordinance to provide the salary increase. Trustee Bill Lebeter abstained from voting because he was not present at the committee meeting when the decision was made.
Trustee Karen Wingfield-Bond was absent from the meeting.
Village President Gene Williams said the board discussed the option of making the president's position a part-time job and hiring a full-time village administrator.
"As Lynwood grows, and with the Joe Orr Road extension fueling that growth, someone needs to be involved daily in the associated activities," Williams said. "We discussed the option of hiring a village administrator, similar to what Lansing did recently. In the end, we decided to stay with the current organization structure and give these additional responsibilities to the village president."
As a result of the Joe Orr Road extension, the village is going to build a community center close to the intersection of Joe Orr and Glenwood-Dyer roads. The facility will be the first piece of a new municipal center that will include a Village Hall and Police Department headquarters.
"We need someone who has the best interests of Lynwood to be involved in these activities on a daily basis," Williams said. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do this the right way."
The same ordinance will also provide trustees with a pay increase, from $2,900 to $3,900 for the part-time positions. The salary of the village clerk remains the same at $24,400 annually.
The ordinance also allows the flexibility to have a part-time village president at the pay rate of $25,000, with the remainder to be used for a village administrator.
"We allowed that type of flexibility in case other people are in office after the next election," Williams said. "None of this takes effect until after the election in April 2013. The village president and board of trustees who are sworn in will have the option of deciding how they want to organize."
Williams is running for re-election, but is not taking anything for granted.
"The people of Lynwood will vote to do what is best for the village," Williams said. "I hope to be part of the exciting times we have on the horizon."