With rich state pensions the issue, state pensioner-candidates in DuPage face new scrutiny
Governor Bruce Rauner visited Lombard on Sunday, where he talked once again about public employee unions.
When the governor talks about public employee unions, he’s really alluding to the lavish public employee pensions for which they’ve long advocated. This year so far, DuPage County has been the place to be on that subject, thanks to College of DuPage (COD) President Robert Breuder and his $763,000 taxpayer-funded severance package.
To be sure, $763,000 is the minimum bill for DuPage taxpayers under an agreement approved 6-1 by the COD Board of Trustees. Breuder will be eligible for a state pension that rivals his annual $484,000 salary. That’s $40,333 per month, plus free health care benefits.
Two trustees running for reelection who voted in favor of Breuder’s package, Kim Savage, of Darien, and Nancy Svoboda, of Downers Grove, are more than familiar with the concept.
Savage, formerly an administrator at the University of Illinois at Chicago, collected a state pension of $74,637 in 2014. Svoboda, who worked as a College of DuPage counselor, collected $149,796. Both also receive free health care benefits.
According to their Linkedin profiles, both Savage and Svoboda currently supplement their taxpayer-funded pensions with paid consulting work. Savage works as an independent consultant focused on “strategic planning, assessment program development (and) administrative services;” Svoboda advises doctoral candidates at Illinois Benedictine College in Lisle.
Thanks to Rauner and Breuder, voters will no doubt pay keener attention to the pension issue this election cycle. Thanks to overly generous pension promises, Illinois faces a deficit of some $250 billion, according to Wirepoints Illinois News. Save tripling homeowners’ property tax bills, effectively (and massively) devaluing all Illinois real estate and sparking a mass run for the borders, there’s no math that can close the gap.
There’s also been little political will to even be more prudent, the COD saga might serve as any evidence. Breuder’s “golden parachute” 6-1 vote wasn’t even close; only Hinsdale Trustee Kathy Hamilton voted ‘no.’
That Savage and Svoboda, the sixth-richest COD pensioner herself, voted to pay off Brueder so handsomely shouldn’t be such a surprise. After all, they both collect rich state pensions themselves.
Highest Active College of DuPage Pensions
Name (monthly salary)
1 - Harold McAninch ($15,785) Last Job: President (1979-1994 and 2008-209)
2 - Thomas Ryan ($14,334) Last Job: VP/Administrative Affairs and Treasurer
3 - Ken Kolbet ($13,821) Last Job: VP/Administrative Affairs and Treasurer
4 - Sandy Werner ($13,373) Last Job: School Counselor
5 - Kenneth Harris ($12,547) Last Job: School Counselor
6 - Nancy Svoboda ($12,483) Last Job: School Counselor