Scandalously lavish pay for Chicago’s ‘public servants’

Fiscally speaking, Chicago is a “dead man walking,” with no feasible means to meet existing financial obligations in the near future.  City taxes already are high, and would have to be increased by multiples in order to pay for pensions (by far the biggest item) and even skeletal city services in the long run. In the short run, they would be crippling, driving people and business out even faster.

But there is a lot of money that can be squeezed out of a complex set of financial flows and assets on a multi-billion-dollar institutional scale. You can sell off or lease assets like highways, parking garages, and even the revenue from traffic light cameras and parking meters.  Rahm Emanuel made his “F-U” money in the municipal bond market, don’t forget, so he has carried on the tradition of bleeding the wounded beast through legal means.

But as the Chicago fisc stumbles along on its last legs, the so-called servants of the public are doing very well, indeed, thank-you very much.

Michael Armentraut of the Chicago Sun-Times has done some digging and come up with a shocking set of numbers revealing how cushy the life gets for a heckuva lot of people working for the City of Chicago. People who, when they retire, will be “entitled” to lavish pensions, too. People who will agitate for federal bailouts that protect those pensions.

More than one of every three Chicago city workers made $100,000 or more last year — including 36 who topped Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s $216,210 salary, a Chicago Sun-Times analysis has found.

The number of city workers making more than Emanuel was up from 26 in a similar review by the Sun-Times in 2015. And the percentage of city employees topping the $100,000 mark is up slightly since then.

Sounds like more than keeping up with inflation, to me. 

Also among the highest-paid was Donald Koplitz, a retired police sergeant who cashed in on accumulated comp time for a payout of more than a quarter of a million dollars — three years after he left the Chicago Police Department.

Here is the payroll database in its entirety.

Second City Cop noted the "Best job --- money-wise":

Evidently, the best job in the city nowadays is "undercover police sergeant" with three of the top ten spots being occupied by that title.

Rahm's overtime budget is already well over last year and shows no signs of slowing down.

Overtime is the principal means of bumping up compensation in the last years, so as to maximize the basis for the forthcoming pension bonanza, something that amounts to an extended vacation in many cases. Or the opportunity for double-dipping and really making a lot of money. Of course, this bleeds the prey (taxpayers) ever-faster over time.

Hat tip: Peter von Buol

Fiscally speaking, Chicago is a “dead man walking,” with no feasible means to meet existing financial obligations in the near future.  City taxes already are high, and would have to be increased by multiples in order to pay for pensions (by far the biggest item) and even skeletal city services in the long run. In the short run, they would be crippling, driving people and business out even faster.

But there is a lot of money that can be squeezed out of a complex set of financial flows and assets on a multi-billion-dollar institutional scale. You can sell off or lease assets like highways, parking garages, and even the revenue from traffic light cameras and parking meters.  Rahm Emanuel made his “F-U” money in the municipal bond market, don’t forget, so he has carried on the tradition of bleeding the wounded beast through legal means.

But as the Chicago fisc stumbles along on its last legs, the so-called servants of the public are doing very well, indeed, thank-you very much.

Michael Armentraut of the Chicago Sun-Times has done some digging and come up with a shocking set of numbers revealing how cushy the life gets for a heckuva lot of people working for the City of Chicago. People who, when they retire, will be “entitled” to lavish pensions, too. People who will agitate for federal bailouts that protect those pensions.

More than one of every three Chicago city workers made $100,000 or more last year — including 36 who topped Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s $216,210 salary, a Chicago Sun-Times analysis has found.

The number of city workers making more than Emanuel was up from 26 in a similar review by the Sun-Times in 2015. And the percentage of city employees topping the $100,000 mark is up slightly since then.

Sounds like more than keeping up with inflation, to me. 

Also among the highest-paid was Donald Koplitz, a retired police sergeant who cashed in on accumulated comp time for a payout of more than a quarter of a million dollars — three years after he left the Chicago Police Department.

Here is the payroll database in its entirety.

Second City Cop noted the "Best job --- money-wise":

Evidently, the best job in the city nowadays is "undercover police sergeant" with three of the top ten spots being occupied by that title.

Rahm's overtime budget is already well over last year and shows no signs of slowing down.

Overtime is the principal means of bumping up compensation in the last years, so as to maximize the basis for the forthcoming pension bonanza, something that amounts to an extended vacation in many cases. Or the opportunity for double-dipping and really making a lot of money. Of course, this bleeds the prey (taxpayers) ever-faster over time.

Hat tip: Peter von Buol

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