Riverside trustees voted unanimously to give a $10,000 cash bonus to Village Manager Jessica Frances after “careful consideration to Frances’ performance during this most recent year of employment,” according to the resolution adopted by the village board as part of a 21-item consent agenda at their regular meeting on Dec. 15.

According to the resolution, the village may choose on an annual basis to grant Frances a raise in salary or give her a cash bonus, or both.

At the end of 2015, the board gave Frances a combination of a 2.5-percent raise and a $3,000 cash bonus. The raise bumped her annual salary to $119,925.

This year, the village board opted for a one-time cash bonus of $10,000, which amounts to about 8.3 percent of her salary.

Village President Ben Sells said the bonus reflected work Frances did not only as manager but in her role as chairwoman of the West Central Consolidation Communications (WC3) emergency dispatch committee, which will consolidate police and fire dispatching services in 2017.

“She’s spent an enormous amount of time separate from her village manager duties on that,” Sells said. “Everywhere she goes, she’s chosen as a leader. Her performance exceeds the job she has. It’s hard for me to imagine a better village manager.”

According to Sells, one of the reasons for the straight bonus was the fact that Frances’ contract is tied to his term in office, which is up in the spring of 2017. Sells is running for re-election but until Monday could not rule out a challenger who might defeat him in the next election.

The village board could revisit the matter of raising Frances’ salary in early 2017 if Sells’ path to the president’s chair is unchallenged.

Frances, 36, has been Riverside’s village manager for a little more than two years, taking over as interim manager in the latter part of 2014 after the departure of Peter Scalera. She was named manager on a permanent basis in January 2015.

Prior to stepping into the manager’s office, Frances worked as Riverside’s finance director, a job she started in 2012. She was recruited for that job by Scalera, who worked with her as part of the village management team in north-suburban Glencoe. 

Riverside finance chief leaving

Frances announced on Dec. 15 that the man who replaced her as Riverside’s finance director, Marco Salinas, would be leaving that position in late December or early January for another opportunity.

Salinas, who has worked for the village of Riverside for the past 14 years, will begin a new job as the chief financial officer for the Oak Brook Park District on Jan. 9, 2017.

“I think after 14 years I just need different challenges,” said Salinas, who was hired as the finance department’s full-time accountant and served under four different finance directors before being hired for the job on an interim basis in September 2014 and permanently in March 2015.

“The toughest part is leaving all of the great co-workers here and all of the experiences here, past and present,” Salinas said.

Frances said she will conduct the search process for Salinas’ replacement, but didn’t have a set timeline for that hire.

“Sooner would be best, but it depends on who we select and how much time they need to give their employer,” Frances said.

Frances said she’ll have to hire someone on a temporary contract basis, perhaps someone from the village’s auditing firm, to fill the gap created by Salinas’ departure. Frances said that she’ll also play a “heightened role” in the finance department until she hires as Salinas’ replacement.

In Oak Brook, Salinas will oversee a roughly $10.5 million budget for a park district that includes 150 acres of park land and operates a fitness center, tennis center, indoor aquatics center and an all-purpose facility it rents out for everything from weddings to birthday parties.

In heading west, Salinas will be reunited with another former Riverside village employee, Laure Kosey, who was the village’s recreation director until 2010.

Kosey said the fact that Salinas was a certified public accountant was key to his hire.

“Marco has always been a team player who is willing to help out,” said Kosey. “And being a certified public accountant is an important piece for that position.”

In addition, Salinas will be getting a bit of a pay raise along with the new gig. In Riverside, Salinas’ salary was $97,000; in Oak Brook he’ll be paid $103,000.