Half of the department heads at Forest Park’s village hall recently received a 3.75% salary increase, while the other half received increases of anywhere between 6% and 19%

During its Oct. 24 meeting, the village council approved the new salary ranges for its non-union staff, including all of the department heads. According to Mayor Rory Hoskins, the village was trying to bring the salaries up to par with Chicago area villages of similar size, as well as to narrow the salary gap between female and male department heads. But the salary ranges as they were presented didn’t necessarily indicate actual pay raises  – they merely established the minimum and the maximum salaries for each position.

At the Review’s request, Village Administrator Moses Amidei provided the actual salaries for the department heads for fiscal year 2021 and the salaries that went into effect after the Oct. 24 vote. While the salary ranges didn’t change for Village Clerk Vanessa Moritz and Finance Director Letitia Olmsted, the comparison of their actual salaries show notable increases. In fact, Public Works Director Sal Stella is the only male director whose salary went up by more than 3.75%. 

Each fiscal year starts May 1 and ends April 30 of the following year. Both in 2021 and 2022, the salary ranges were approved after the start of the fiscal year, but Amidei told the Review that they were retroactive to the start of the fiscal year. 

Fire Chief Phil Chiappetta and Police Chief Ken Gross are the highest-paid village department heads. They earned $137,923 in 2021 and the latest increase raised their salaries to $143,095.

Amidei himself is the third-highest paid department head, earning $119,000 in 2021 and $123,462 in 2022. All three department heads got 3.75% increases.

Hoskins previously told the Review that, with the salary ranges, the village took experience and the nature of the position into account, so it was impossible to have  complete gender parity – but the last two salary increases were meant to narrow the gap between what female department heads and male department heads are earning.  

 Under the 2022 increases, none of the female department heads now earn less than $100,000. Moritz, who also serves as the village’s HR director, saw her salary increase by 6.08%, from $96,150 to $102,000. Olmsted’s salary went up by 17%, going from $100,000 to $117,000. Mohr Community Center Director Karen Dylewski got a 19.74% increase, the highest salary increase out of all department heads, going from $83,512 to $100,000. And while she previously earned less than any other director, that distinction now goes to Director of Public Health & Safety Steve Glinke, who went from earning $88,961 to earning $ 92,297. That represents a 3.75% salary increase.

Stella’s salary increased by 8%, going from $100,000 to $108,000. He previously told the Review that, while the salary range for the position was increased in 2021, it didn’t translate into an actual salary increase at the time. 

Hoskins has told the Review that he was satisfied with the most recent salary adjustments.

“I think we’re closer to pay equity and I think it’s an important step for the village,” he said at the time.