Village Administrator Tim Gillian was almost given a hefty Christmas present — a 20 percent raise — by the Forest Park Village Council on Dec. 17, but three commissioners reportedly shot it down in closed session. One commissioner referred to the proposed raise as “obscene.”
Village officials rarely speak in public about what happens behind closed doors (in executive session). Personnel negotiations are usually kept confidential although all village salaries are a matter of public record.
However, Commissioner Rory Hoskins said that while respecting the confidentiality of closed-session negotiations, he was surprised when Commissioner Mark Hosty proposed a $20,000 raise to Gillian, which Hosty reportedly referred to as an “adjustment.”
“I was just kind of surprised that the commissioner would recommend that kind of a raise,” said Hoskins.
Hosty declined to comment in an email. “I do not comment on closed-door discussions,” he wrote. “I have to wonder where this topic came up?”
Hoskins did not elaborate on why commissioners declined to give Gillian the pay bump or if other counter-suggestions were made, but he had strong words for Hosty’s actions at the December council meeting.
“First, [Hosty] gave us two options for streets to name for the Calderones,” Hoskins texted after the meeting. “Next he insisted we give an obscene pay boost to his close friend. [Hosty] needs to grasp the dual concepts of process and collaboration.”
The proposed raise would have been a significant change for Gillian. He was paid $101,302 in 2012. In addition, the village paid for $18,459 in health insurance benefits, $168 in life insurance benefits, $1,043 in dental insurance benefits and contributed $11,377 for his pension, making his total compensation $132,349. He also drives a village-owned vehicle.
Gillian’s was paid $2,133.06 more in 2011, according to government watchdog website www.openthebooks.com. This amount could not be confirmed by the village before press time. Full-time village union employees will receive in 2013 a pay raise of $.40 per hour or $832.
In 2009, Gillian beat out 30 applicants for the open village administrator position vacated by Michael Sturino. In a split vote by the village council, Hoskins and Marty Tellalian voted against the hiring. Leading up to the vote, Tellalian and Hoskins criticized the fact that he was a childhood friend of Mayor Anthony Calderone and that he lacked engineering expertise or management experience. Gillian had been a council member himself, as well as a Proviso Township trustee.
The village paid Gillian’s predecessor Sturino $138,408.63 before benefits in 2008, according to www.openthebooks.com. At the time, Gillian’s hiring was touted as an economy for the village, since he was not commanding the salary of a village administrator with professional experience.
Since taking the job, Gillian has never had an official performance review, Mayor Calderone told the Forest Park Review. Instead, commissioners use an informal process where they give “an assessment of [an administrator’s performance],” Calderone wrote by email from vacation in Florida. Calderone said this informal has always been used to evaluate village administrators.
“With the exception of Commissioner Hoskins, each commissioner has offered opinions and comments about Tim,” the Mayor added.