Michael Sturino will be making $115,000 a year as village administrator and will receive an unlimited gas card, cell phone usage and a six-month severance pay, a review of the village’s employment agreement revealed.

The two-year agreement, entered into on Feb. 11, 2005 will remain in effect until April 30, 2007 and provides the administrator with a 31 percent increase over the village’s last administrator’s salary of $88,000 per year.

Sturino’s employment provisions were confirmed last week when the village provided the REVIEW with a copy of the agreement.

During Sturino’s confirmation process, Commissioner Theresa Steinbach abstained from voting and told the REVIEW she disagreed with certain terms of the contract, including the increase in pay and the gas and cell phone perks.

According to the contract, Sturino is subject to a yearly performance evaluation in advance of the annual Operating Budget adoption and is employed as a salaried employee. 

Sturino, who is not required by the contract to reside in Forest Park, is permitted to work a flexible work schedule “in accordance with the varying demands of his position,” the contract states.

There are restrictions on his work, however, as he cannot work for another city, village or town without prior written consent of the mayor.

Pursuant to the contract, Sturino will receive a national gasoline company credit card, a gas pump key or shall be reimbursed for gasoline costs related to his work.  He will receive a new cell phone from the village, which will also pay his monthly bills.

Sturino will receive two weeks paid vacation on his first year and three weeks each calendar year thereafter, but vacation
time cannot be carried over from one year to the next.

If he does not use the vacation time each year, he shall be compensated for the time from year to year.

The village will also enroll Sturino in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) and Social Security and also agrees to contribute “such sums as are contributed on behalf of any other employees or officials to other retirement programs to which the Administrator may be eligible, including but not limited to a 401(k) or a 457 program.”

According to the contract, the village will also pay for professional dues and subscriptions to the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), Illinois City Management Association (ILCMA), the American Planning Association (APA), the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) and, with the mayor’s approval, any other organization that will contribute to his professional development and to the village.

In addition, the village will pay for fees associated with the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois.  These fees shall not exceed $1,500 per fiscal year.

The village will also pay up to $1,500 per fiscal year for travel and subsistence expenses for professional development, including attendance to the Annual Conference of the International City/County Management Association, annual meetings of the Illinois City Management Association and the Illinois Municipal League meetings.

All meetings, seminars or conferences outside the state will be subject to prior
approval from the mayor.

In addition to these perks, Sturino will also be reimbursed for general expenses incurred as the administrator.  Any expense exceeding $100, however, shall require written approval of the mayor.

Should Sturino choose to resign, the contract stipulates he must provide the village with no less than 30 days written notice.  Resignation will result in loss of severance pay, but Sturino would retain any
accrued vacation time, sick leave and
 compensatory time.

The contract also states that the village may remove Sturino at any time by a
majority vote of the village council,
and provides for a 60 day suspension
with pay and benefits should this
situation arise.

Following a suspension for removal purposes, Sturino will have five days to request a hearing, to be conducted no more than 15 days after the village receives the request and in a closed session.

In case of a separation, Sturino would receive a one-time lump pay worth six months of aggregate base salary as severance and six months worth of benefits.

If the village finds cause for dismissal, however, Sturino will not be entitled to any severance.