After deciding not to make major changes to their health-care and pension benefits, Naperville City Council members are cutting the stipend for personal cell phone and Internet use.
By a vote of 8-1, councilmen Tuesday passed an ordinance that would compensate them $1,000 rather than $1,200 annually for the services.
Prior to a recent workshop, the lawmakers had not reviewed their wages and benefits in more than a decade.
It also was discovered that part of the Municipal Code containing mayor and councilman salaries was missing. According to city documents, "presumably an administrative mistake, this section was deleted and no longer appears."
The measure codifies salaries and links annual increases the Consumer Price Index, as has been the previous practice. Naperville city council compensation increases have averaged 2.1 percent annually over the past 10 years.
By law, the council may only make compensation changes for future terms of office. The new wages take effect in 2015 when all council seats are up for election.
"I have the personal belief that the benefits councilmen receive are too great," said councilman Grant Wehrli, the sole opposing vote. "We made a minor change, but I don't think this is going far enough."
Not including the phone and Internet stipend, Naperville councilmen currently are paid a base salary of just under $12,000.
Councilman Robert Fieseler was not present at the previous group workshop on compensation.
"Just to let you know where I stand, I didn't know I'd be getting any benefits when I showed up for my first day as a councilman," Fieseler said. "Now we're going to make this minor change, and I'm willing to live with that."
At issue was whether councilmen choose to participate in the city's health insurance plan. Five members have the coverage, and all eight on the panel are in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund pension system.
"I think we've missed a wonderful opportunity to have a very full, open and transparent conversation on what the role, job description and compensation of a councilman is," said Wehrli.