The new year came with a hike in pay for Riverside Village Manager Peter Scalera. On Feb. 4, Riverside trustees voted 4-0 (trustees Lonnie Sacchi and Mark Shevitz were absent) to increase Scalera’s pay by 3 percent, bumping his annual salary to $123,361. The pay raise is retroactive to Oct. 1, 2012.
Scalera last September marked his third anniversary as Riverside’s village manager. He came aboard in 2009, replacing Interim Village Manager Robin Weaver, who was hired when Kathleen Rush resigned in April of that year.
The 41-year-old Scalera came to Riverside from Glencoe, where he served as assistant village manager. Hired in the wake of the 2009 election, which was followed by a period of conflict on the board, Scalera sometimes has been caught in the crossfire, particularly on budget matters.
“I have a completely different perspective of the profession after spending three and a half years here,” said Scalera. “I think I was naïve. I learned that effective change takes time to implement and a lot of research needs to be completed and all options need to be thought of before it can be completed.”
Scalera’s contract expires April 30, which will coincide with a significant change in the makeup of the village board. He hopes the next village board will see fit to keep him as village manager.
That appears likely. Scalera has earned the respect of trustees on both sides of the table during the past three years. Trustee Ben Sells, who is poised to become village president in April since he’s running unopposed, said he has no plans on changing personnel in the manager’s office.
“I think the world of Peter,” said Sells. “He has a real nice combination of innate kindness, but he’s also extremely competent. I’ve been pleased with how he’s developed.”
Scalera said he’s been impressed with Riverside residents’ no-holds-barred approach to local issues.
“I never imagined being in a community as active as this one,” Scalera said. “People are passionate and they’re not afraid to share their thoughts with you.”
Since being hired in 2009, Scalera’s salary has risen by 8.2 percent. He received a 3-percent raise in 2010 and a 2-percent raise in 2012.
His initial salary was $114,000. The terms of his contract also call for him to be provided with a vehicle. In 2011, the Riverside village board, after dragging its feet for almost a year, provided Scalera with a new Ford Fusion, which replaced a 2005 Ford Taurus with more than 100,000 miles on it, which Scalera had inherited from Rush’s days as manager.
The contract also calls for the village to pay $2,000 annually into a deferred compensation plan operated by the International City Management Association Retirement Corporation in addition to its required contributions to the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund.