Out-going Arlington Heights Mayor Arlene Mulder has rejected her pay for years, but the new mayor is unlikely to do the same.
Since Oct. 2005, Mulder has rejected the stipend, which has saved the village $64,500, said Tom Kuehne, the village's finance director. That money has been funneled back to the general fund.
The Arlington Heights mayor and village board president position comes with an annual stipend of $8,500, while trustees are paid $2,800. The pay scale has been the same since 1999.
All three candidates running to replace Mulder in the April 9 election described the pay as modest, considering the job duties.
Thomas Hayes and Mark Hellner both said they would take the stipend.
"I think the mayor should be compensated. It pays your expenses," Hayes said, citing expenses from train rides to official or social functions. The attorney was first elected trustee to the village board in 1991 alongside Mulder.
Ron Drake, a businessman and newcomer to village government, declined to answer, saying it was presumptuous.
"We'll decide that on April 10th," Drake said.
Hellner, meanwhile, said he is likely to take the money because of the time commitment. Hellner is an attorney and currently serves on the village Housing Commission.
"It's not been a priority of mine to worry about that, but I think if I devote the amount of time necessary, $8,500 is clearly a modest compensation," Hellner said.
Mulder is the longest-serving mayor in the history of the village and has been an elected official in Arlington Heights for more than three decades. She served 12 years as a park district commissioner, two as a village trustee and the last 20 years as mayor and village board president.
The pay for elected officials on the Arlington Heights village board has nearly doubled since Mulder was first elected to the board in the early 1990s. Back then, the village president made $4,600 and the trustees netted $1,200.
Mulder stopped taking the Arlington Heights stipend because she joined the board of directors for Metra, officials said.
The Metra board position comes with a $15,000 annual salary, as prescribed in the Regional Transportation Authority Act. The guidelines prohibit Metra board members from taking compensation from any other elected or appointed office.
Mulder, a former high school teacher, said: "I have never done anything in my life for the money."