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updated: 10/19/2010 3:43 PM

Pingree Grove clerk job will be elected post

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The village clerk position in Pingree Grove remains an elected one for now.

On Monday night, a proposal to officially convert the post into an appointed job (even though the village skipped the last clerk election) died after Trustee Greg Marston seconded the motion and then withdrew it. When someone seconds a motion, that opens up the issue for discussion and sets it up for a vote.

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In a later interview, Marston said he needed more clarification on how the item appeared on the agenda, wanted input on the clerk issue from an absent trustee and wasn't sure how Village President Wyman "Clint Carey wanted him to proceed.

"I'm glad it's staying as an elected position, Carey said. "And hopefully, we get a number of candidates running for it.

With Monday's lack of action, current Village Clerk Michelle Figuerola still has to campaign for the seat if she wants to keep the job that for now pays $38,625 a year plus benefits.

Whoever is elected village clerk in April won't make nearly that much.

That person will make $25 a meeting there are four meetings a month on average and Figuerola would take a steep pay cut if she won the seat in the next election.

The village board intended to raise the fee to $75 a meeting Monday night, but state statute bars it from changing it within 180 days of an election, Interim Village Manager Bill Barlow said.

Former Village President Verne "Bud Wester appointed Figuerola to fill a 2006 vacancy in the clerk's office and instituted her hourly pay, saying $25 a meeting wasn't enough to get the job done.

Although the village held elections in 2007, the clerk's seat was not a part of it. Figuerola has been on the job ever since.

Nobody in the current administration realized hers was an elected post until Barlow discovered it earlier this month while reviewing employees' job descriptions.

The elected clerk would be a part-time position and authorities have not decided whether they'd hire someone to handle Figuerola's other duties or divide them among existing staffers.

Figuerola could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Trustee Stephanie Mette says the issue isn't over.

"I will probably ask, if it isn't on the agenda, that we continue discussing, she said. "If people want to talk about it, I would definitely like to talk about it.

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