Belvidere repeals large raises, stays within budgeted means - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Belvidere repeals large raises, stays within budgeted means

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In Belvidere, pay raises for non-union staff members were nearly through the roof.

City council members voted at their last meeting to okay what opponents thought were unreasonably high salary increases.

This week aldermen reconsider those raises.

Last meeting's raise approvals would've left the City of Belvidere scraping the bottom of its surplus fund.  After initially being very generous aldermen decide to work within their means.

"All non-union staff of the city will receive three percent increase which was originally budgeted as they set it out beforehand," said 2nd Ward Alderman Daniel Snow.

Three percent as opposed to more than 25% for the Building Director, 6% for the Water and Streets Superintendent and nearly 9% for the Zoning Inspector.

All together, the increases would've reached $20,000 plus.  That's money the city doesn't have in its budget.

"Now is not the time with the economy still in the downturn," said Snow.

Supporters still hope the raises will happen under new leadership.  Especially when it comes to one of those positions.  First Ward Alderman Clayton Stevens thinks the building director is being discriminated against because she's a woman.

"I just figure it's fair.  I've never thought that because a woman does the same job as a guy, she should get less for it," he said.  "Once everything gets going and we can see how the building department is going for fees and whatnot, then we can kind of discuss it again."

Mayor Fred Brereton says that's not the case.

"That department hasn't been treated any differently than the Public Works department and it's unfortunate that some view it that way but no foundation at all."

With the repeal of the large salary increases and the acceptance of the budgeted three percent raises aldermen also voted to accept the new budget.

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