Sam Cahnman, who’s looking to move from erstwhile Ward 5 alderman to newly elected Ward 5 alderman in upcoming city elections, is vowing to reject a pay raise approved last month by the city council and Mayor Jim Langfelder, who broke a 5-5 tie (surprise) to up aldermanic salaries by the same rate as inflation, with a cap of 1.75 percent and raises to kick in after the election. It works out to a $270.45 boost per year (roughly five bucks per meeting), assuming the maximum hike to salaries now set at $15,454. Incumbent Andrew “Tightwad” Proctor voted no on the pay hike, but that isn’t getting in Cahnman’s way. “It is one thing to vote against a pay raise ordinance, but it is quite another to put your money where your mouth is and not accept the pay raise paid for by the hard-earned money of Springfield taxpayers, once it is enacted.” But Cahnman was, at least initially, less sure about whether, if elected, he would allow his time on the council to be calculated to increase his pension benefit, which now stands at nearly $1,600 per year thanks to his prior public service, which includes a stint on the Sangamon County board. Pension benefits, Cahnman argued, are different than salaries because the money comes from the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund as opposed to city coffers. Minutes later, Cahnman called back and said he’d decided that he will skip adding to his pension if he gets elected. Decisiveness – it’s a beautiful thing.

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