Naper Settlement awarded midyear and merit raises to its top-level employees, adding anywhere from nearly $8,000 to more than $11,000 to annual salaries, according to records obtained by the Sun.
The raises represent increases of 7.1 percent to 9.6 percent at a time when the Consumer Price Index rose just 2.5 percent.
The city of Naperville owns Naper Settlement's land and buildings and funds the museum at a cost of $2.9 million annually. While the Naperville City Council approves funding for the museum, including salaries, as part of the city's annual budget, it does not approve individual salaries, City Manager Doug Krieger said.
"I don't have any problem paying people higher salaries if they're doing good work," Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico said. "It's not about the dollar amount, but what you get in return. They certainly have been delivering great talent and great services."
The museum's executive board approved the raises for the president/CEO and two of its three vice presidents.
President and CEO Macarena Tamayo-Calabrese saw her base salary increase by 9.6 percent, going from $122,053 in calendar year 2016 to $133,831 in calendar year 2017.
The first part of the increase — 7.5 percent — was approved in July as part of a readjustment in job responsibilities to ensure the museum's "vitality, relevance, engagement and connection to this and future generations," Tamayo-Calabrese said in an email. The additional 2.1 percent merit raise went into effect in February.
The museum's chief operating officer, Harriet Pistorio, received a 7.1 percent raise, increasing her pay from $112,630 in 2016 to $120,627 in 2017. Debra Grinnell, vice president of museum services, was also given a 7.1 percent hike, increasing her salary from $111,351 in 2016 to $119,257 in 2017.
As was the case with Tamayo-Calabrese, the increases for Pistorio and Grinnell were awarded at two different times — 5 percent in July 2016 tied to a realignment of duties and 2 percent in February as a merit raise, Tamayo-Calabrese said in an email.
Tamayo-Calabrese declined to be interviewed in person, requesting that all questions be posed to her in writing and providing all of her responses via email.
Tamayo-Calabrese said midyear raises are not typical and not everyone received one.
"Restructuring of responsibilities and departments was necessary and required additional work, duties and responsibilities of the vice president team and me, along with other members of the leadership team," she said. "As a result, the compensation was changed to match the workload and responsibilities of all those affected. Compensation for changes in work responsibility or performance are looked at on a case-by-case basis and may occur at any time."
Documents posted on the Naper Settlement website on Feb. 1 said Tamayo-Calabrese's 2017 base salary was $143,672, Pistorio's was $126,540 and Grinnell's was $125,103. Some time after Feb. 1, those numbers were adjusted to $133,831 for Tamayo-Calabrese, $120,627 for Pistorio and $119,257 for Grinnell.
Tamayo-Calabrese said the initial numbers were "projections." Once it was known employee salaries would increase 2 percent, the numbers were recalculated and reposted, she said.
"The salaries were changed because the projections moved into actual and the planning process requires that they be reflected as such," she said. "All Naper Settlement staff, as of February 1, 2017, received a 2 percent merit increase which is in line with the city of Naperville staff.
"There were no 'over-projections,'" Tamayo-Calabrese said in response to a question about the difference between the numbers. "The projection process requires conservative estimates and the estimates stated were within reasonable projections during the early stages of budgeting."
The state requires municipal employers paying into the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund to post employee compensation information for any staff member earning more than $75,000 per year within six days of a budget being approved. It does not address salary projections or specify for how long the documents must remain posted or if the public needs to be notified if numbers change.
Naper Settlement employee salaries remained largely the same from the fiscal year that ended Dec. 31, 2015, through calendar year 2016, according to city documents.
Tamayo-Calabrese became the museum's CEO in July 2014. She replaced Peggy Frank, who retired in early 2013 after more than 30 years in the position. Frank's base salary in her last year was $144,497, city documents said....Read more