Alsip Mayor John Ryan: On second thought, he still wants a pay raise but a smaller one

He’d also see a boost in a future government pension despite campaigning in 2017 that he didn’t benefit from any taxpayer-subsidized retirement plan.

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After coming under fire for pushing for a big pay raise he’d get if he’s reelected, Alsip Mayor John D. Ryan says he’s OK with a smaller salary increase.

He wanted mayoral pay to increase from $75,000 a year to $85,000 starting after next spring’s election, in which he’s planning to seek reelection.

Then it came to light that, when he first was elected mayor in 2017, he bragged during his campaign about having cut his predecessor’s salary. One of his campaign fliers back then said: “John Ryan approved the reduction of pay for elected officials by 25% and reduced the mayor’s salary from $100,000 to $75,000.”

And that would be good enough for him, according to the flier that said: “John Ryan will be a full-time mayor, receiving a salary of $75,000.”

Now, Ryan says that, rather than $85,000, he still wants to raise the salary for mayor but not as much — to $80,000.

Alsip Mayor John D. Ryan.

Alsip Mayor John D. Ryan.

Village of Alsip

Like his initial proposal, this one also includes automatic yearly 2.5% increases. So, if Ryan is reelected and completes another four-year term, he’d be making more than $86,000 a year by the end.

If approved by the south suburb’s village board, the pay raise would cost about $32,000 over four years.

It also would be likely to mean a bigger pension someday, though Ryan also campaigned in 2017 on not benefiting from a government retirement plan: “John Ryan does not receive a pension from any governmental or private source,” said one of his campaign fliers.

Although he wasn’t getting a pension then, while a village trustee, he was accruing service credits toward one with the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, a taxpayer-subsidized government pension fund, records show.

So if Ryan holds onto his full-time post as mayor, he would qualify for a pension based on his time as mayor and as a village trustee.

“Mr. Ryan currently has eight years and 10 months inIMRF,” the pension fund said in response to questions about his pension status, “and, as a participant in the Tier 2 plan, is not yet vested.”

That requires 10 years of government service. Ryan “is an active member and has an enrollment date of 5/7/2011 with the village of Alsip,” according to the pension fund. How much he’d get in retirement pay would depend on his highest salary in the years before retiring and how long he stays in government.

Ryan “would be required to earn an additional 14 months of service credit in order to qualify even for a minimum benefit,” according to the pension system.

Patrick Kitching, Ryan’s predecessor as mayor, accumulated 12 years of service in IMRF and is now getting just over $20,000 a year in pension payouts, records show.

Tier 2 IMRF pension recipients have to be at least 62. Ryan is nearly 60.

A campaign flier from John Ryan when he ran for Alsip mayor in 2017 boasted that, as a village trustee, he cut the pay for his predecessor.

A campaign flier from John Ryan when he ran for Alsip mayor in 2017 boasted that, as a village trustee, he cut the pay for his predecessor.

Ryan was elected with help from political operatives now caught up in corruption investigations spanning the city and much of the suburbs: Patrick Doherty and John O’Sullivan, both who moonlighted as sales representatives for the red-light-camera contractor SafeSpeed, LLC.

Doherty, who had been chief of staff for disgraced former Cook County Commissioner Jeff Tobolski, was charged earlier this year with conspiring to pay bribes to win approval for red-light-camera deals in the suburbs.

O’Sullivan, who had been Worth Township supervisor, has been subpoenaed over SafeSpeed. He hasn’t been charged with any crime.

Ryan was interviewed by federal agents last year about having pushed for Alsip to hire SafeSpeed. He hasn’t been charged with any crime and has said neither he nor the village were targets of the investigation.

SafeSpeed’s efforts to be hired by Alsip have been put on hold.

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