Social Security may kill Hinsdale, Clarendon Hills police merger
Updated: January 21, 2013 9:26PM
CLARENDON HILLS — Social Security may be the death of a merger of police departments for Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills.
That’s because personnel in the Hinsdale department quit paying into Social Security when the federal government offered a one-time opt-out in 1983, while Clarendon Hills police continued paying into the system.
That is one of the contract-related issues to be discussed at a Tuesday meeting with the Fraternal Order of Police, the organization that represents officers in both departments.
“The Social Security issue is a big hurdle for this issue of a merger,” Clarendon Hills Village Manager Randy Recklaus said. “We’re definitely at a critical state in negotiations.”
Recklaus said village staff has been looking into options that would allow for Clarendon Hills officers to be compensated for what would be lost to them in Social Security benefits if the departments merge. A merger would result in a new contract for all officers of the new department and would not include Social Security contributions.
The Clarendon Hills Village Board voted Monday against placing an advisory referendum on the April 9 ballot. The Hinsdale Village Board is scheduled to vote on the same measure Tuesday night.
“We don’t know enough at this point to hand it to the community and ask what they think,” Clarendon Hills Trustee Mary Williams said.
The advisory referendums were requested by state Rep. Patti Bellock, R-47th, of Hinsdale, Bellock was the chief sponsor of legislation to eliminate obstacles for police departments in Illinois to merge.
The possible Social Security roadblock isn’t new, Recklaus said.
“We’ve been working on this Social Security issue for months,” Recklaus said. “We have had several conversations with the Social Security office, but there have been a lot of unknowns.”
Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills first announced Oct. 27, 2011 that they were engaged in discussions about a possible merger of police departments in an effort to save money.