Oak Lawn village manager Tom Phelan receives pay raise
By Joe Boyle
Oak Lawn Mayor Terry Vorderer is pleased with the overall contributions of Village Manager Tom Phelan, who will receive a merit-based pay increase.
Phelan will see a 5 percent increase in pay after village trustees approved a resolution as part of the consent agenda during the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting on Sept. 12.
The increase amount was revealed after the board meeting. Phelan, a former 6th District trustee, saw his salary increase to $206,080 retroactive to July 1. He had previously been making $197,267.
“Tom is dedicated and committed to the village,” said Vorderer. “He has consolidated so many positions and saved us thousands and thousands of dollars.”
The contract for Phelan calls for him to receive a merit increase each year along with a cost-of-living raise, according to village officials. Phelan did not receive a merit raise in 2022. He became the village manager in July of 2021.
Officials said Phelan’s salary is comparable to other village managers in neighboring communities, including Orland Park, whose village manager makes $179,600. Oak Lawn’s population is over 58,000, while Orland Park’s figure is nearly 57,000.
Village trustees also released a statement regarding Phelan after the board meeting.
“(Phelan) is diligent and dedicated to developing the economic interests of the village. He effectively manages the village staff and is focused on making sound financial decisions. His involvement and relationships with the community, the residents, and surrounding towns is excellent.”
The trustees also approved a three-year contract with the Oak Lawn Police Supervisors Association during the board meeting on Sept. 12. The contract is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2023 and will end on Dec. 31, 2025.
Vorderer said they will receive a 3.5% each year of the contract.
The village has not come to terms yet on a new contract with the rest of the members of the police department. The Metropolitan Alliance of Police Oak Lawn Chapter 309 represents them.
Vorderer said there were a couple of issues that are being discussed between the village and the union that he is not at liberty to talk about at this time. However, he is confident that it will get worked out.
“This will probably go to arbitration and it will be taken care of,” Vorderer said. “The police department has been great and we can work together on this. It will be resolved.”
During the consent agenda at the meeting, the board approved an economic incentive agreement with the Kelly Nissan that will allow the longtime dealership to split sales with the village.
Oak Lawn homeowners, as of Oct. 1, will pay a 5% increase with Republic Service for garbage disposal, which will now be about $24 per month.
A resolution was also approved by the board of a permanent utility easement agreement with Palos Hills as part of the Regional Water System Improvement Project at 7301 W. 105th St., Palos Hills.
The board also approved a proposal from Christopher B. Burke Engineering for design and construction engineering services for the 2024 street program.
Vorderer also mentioned that the Blueberry Hill Restaurant, 5769 W. 95th St., has opened and he gives the eatery a thumbs up. Blueberry Hill replaces the Oak Lawn Restaurant that was at the location for many years before it closed.
“They have been open for about four weeks,” Vorderer said. “They had a lot of work to do before they could open so the opening was delayed. I’ve gone there a few times and in my opinion their pancakes are great and omelets are just phenomenal.”
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