After seeing his salary increase by roughly $10,000 per year since he was hired in 2005, Brookfield Village Manager Riccardo Ginex will not receive a pay raise when his employment agreement with the village is renewed in September.
The issue of Ginex’s contract was tabled by village trustees at Monday night’s meeting of the village board, following a lengthy executive session during which trustees also discussed union contracts.
But even before the decision to table any change in Ginex’s contract, the village manager stated he would not accept a raise even if the board voted to give him one.
“With the situation being what it is, I don’t think it’s right,” Ginex said in a separate interview. “We’re in tough times and as the leader of the organization, it behooves me to lead by example.”
Ginex’s annual salary, agreed upon by trustees in September 2008, is just over $135,000. He joined the village shortly after the election of Michael Garvey as village president in 2005 at an annual salary of $107,000.
Garvey said the issue of a raise for Ginex is permanently off the table for this year, but said the board’s inaction should not be construed as a lack of support for Ginex. The board will still move forward with its evaluation of Ginex’s performance, which is part of his contract.
“I’m very happy with his performance,” Garvey said. “All things being equal we’d have offered him an increase.”
But Brookfield is going through a particularly rough stretch financially. In 2008, the village ended up missing out on nearly three-quarters of a million dollars in revenue through a mistake in the tax levy for the Brookfield Public Library.
To make up for the error, the village paid the library the money it was expecting out of its general operating fund. By the end of the fiscal year, according to the 2008 financial audit released in July, Brookfield had just about two weeks worth of operating expenditures as a cash reserve.
In the first six months of 2009, the non-union village employees, including village management staff, have taken unpaid furlough days, while all departments have seen layoffs.
“The staff, non-union staff and the board showed leadership, dealing with furloughs and the tough economic times,” Garvey said. “We’ve positioned ourselves to recover when the economy recovers.”
Garvey said that the board’s inaction on a raise for Ginex was not politically motivated.
“I don’t make decisions based on politics,” Garvey said. “I’m not a lame-duck president.”
Ginex said that while he wants to hold the line on salaries, he also wants a level playing field for both non-union employees, who made sacrifices this year, and union employees, who are still getting cost-of-living and step increases.
“I think looking through the budget process and in union negotiations, there has to be a fairness factor,” Ginex said.