News Story

City Pays Public Safety Officers Nearly Twice Residents' Incomes, Repeatedly Requests Tax Hikes

Average Oak Park police officers make $86K per year in salary

The average salary of Oak Park Public Safety employees was $86,050 in fiscal year 2010-11, far more than the median household income of $48,476.

To help pay those salaries, residents in the city of about 29,000 have twice in the last two years approved tax increases for the Public Safety department. Voters were told previously that the overall city work force was "cut by about a third in the last four years," but an analysis by Capitol Confidential showed that to be false.

Yet, 11 of the 63 members of the public safety department made $100,000 or more in the fiscal year 2010-11. A sergeant who grossed $152,606 was the highest paid in the department.

"Things like this are why Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker defeated a government-employee recall attempt by a large margin," said Jack McHugh, legislative policy analyst for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. "This is an example of government employees collecting benefits that far exceed anything that most of the private sector neighbors get."

On Feb. 22, 2011, Oak Park residents approved a 1-mill millage that runs through 2020. Then on May 8, voters approved another 1.14 mill millage that runs through 2021.

Oak Park Mayor Marian McClellan and City Manager Rick Fox didn’t return emails seeking comment.


See also:

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