Eighteen months into his tenure as Brookfield’s village manager, Keith Sbiral got a raise on May 9.
After meeting in executive session during two consecutive meetings in April and May, the village board voted 5-1 to give Sbiral a 10.3 percent hike in his annual salary, bringing his pay to $150,000.
“Over the past 18 months, the board felt that Keith has done quite an admirable job,” said Village President Kit Ketchmark in a telephone interview. “He’s led numerous initiatives and brought new ideas and is making Brookfield a place people look toward as a leader. None of the improvements have happened by chance.”
The village board approved two other amendments to Sbiral’s contract. He’ll now receive $15,000 annually in deferred compensation, which will be paid into his retirement account. Sbiral’s previous agreement called for him to receive $5,000 annually in deferred compensation.
In addition, the board agreed to increase, from three months to four, the amount of severance pay Sbiral would receive as a result of being terminated by the village for any reason.
The remainder of Sbiral’s contract remains the same. Sbiral receives 25 days of paid vacation a year, but he receives no vehicle, cellphone or home internet allowances. He also does not participate in the village health insurance plan or receive additional compensation in lieu of participating in that plan.
Sbiral, hired in 2006 as assistant village manager, was promoted to the top management job in the village effective October 2014. His contract at the time set his salary at $136,000 and ran through April 2017, which coincides with the next election for village president.
While he was assistant manager, Sbiral also served as village treasurer, as head of the building department and as its technology director. He also spent time supervising the finance department and was the village’s TIF district expert and grant writer.
In his time since being named manager, Sbiral has overhauled the building department by creating a new community and economic development department. He hired a director for that department and has replaced the police chief and public works director.
Ketchmark said Sbiral’s new salary better reflects the market for village managers in the area, and his performance had earned him the substantial hike in pay.
“It is a lot of money and we understand that,” Ketchmark said, “but you have to put that in the perspective of the market for that person. In a town of our size, with a budget our size, it’s important to look at it in that context.”
Trustee Michelle Ryan, who voted against the changes to Sbiral’s contract, said that, while she was “strongly supportive of an increase” in pay for Sbiral, she felt a 10 percent hike was just too much.
“It was an extraordinary increase for a mid-contract adjustment,” said Ryan, noting that while Sbiral laid out strong reasons for increasing his salary — he reportedly wanted to be paid $160,000 — she felt Sbiral was being paid at a fair market rate for suburban Cook County.
“I looked at the different compensation levels of different village managers around here, and what I concluded was that the salary we previously negotiated was in line with other Cook County suburbs,” Ryan said. “For a community of our scale, he was well in line with the high end of what village managers are getting.”
Ryan said that while you might find higher salaries for managers of communities in DuPage of Lake counties, those weren’t the salaries Brookfield trustees needed to be looking at.
Sbiral did not respond to several phone messages left by the Landmark.
Jessica Frances, who was hired as Riverside’s village manager on Jan. 1, 2015 after nearly three years as the village’s finance director, is paid $119,000 annually. Guy Belmonte, who just completed his 15th year as village administrator in North Riverside, was paid $147,455 during the most recent fiscal year, which ended April 30.