CHICAGO (CBS) — Bradley Stephens is one of the highest-paid mayors in the country, earning a $260,000 salary as the mayor of Rosemont, a village with a population of 4,200. Now he stands to earn another $69,000 a year as a state representative.
Stephens was sworn in as state representative for the 20th District last month, replacing Michael McAuliffe, who resigned after serving 46 years in office.
In an interview with CBS 2 Morning Insider Lauren Victory, Stephens said he has no plans to resign as mayor after taking on the new position, and he defended taking two taxpayer-funded salaries at once.
“Is a legislator really a full-time job, a state legislator? I don’t think so. A lot of the legislators have other full-time jobs,” he said. “I don’t think that, at the end of the day, that what I’ll be getting is beyond fair.”
Stephens is keeping 100% of his legislative salary, but he said that’s not the case with his Rosemont salary.
His $260,000 salary as mayor works out to about $1,000 per weekday, which Stephens vowed not to accept when he’s at the Illinois state capitol.
“The days that I’m in Springfield, and I know this is a big question, I’ll be using my vacation time that I’ve earned over the last 30 years here working for the village, and docking myself the days that I don’t use vacation,” he said.
Stephens said he’s confident he can juggle the responsibilities of mayor and state representative.
“In today’s world with the electronic age, so to say, I think that it’s a lot more manageable,” he said. “I’ll stay on top of things either through email, through phone calls, and whatever means necessary to make sure that I keep a firm hold on everything.”
He also said his constituents in neighboring areas need not worry about him favoring Rosemont when he votes in Springfield.
“Obviously, I represent Schiller Park as well, and that would have to be something that I have to understand in my new role,” he said.
Stephens said he’s also declining his state pension, as well as other state benefits like health insurance.
While he was appointed to his seat in the House, he already has begun circulating petitions for a possible run for a second term in 2020.