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posted: 10/21/2012 5:00 AM

Endorsement: Yes to appoint Island Lake clerk

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Island Lake voters will decide whether the village clerk should continue to be an elected office or will become an appointed post similar to the police chief or other top administrators. If the answer is the latter, the mayor, with approval from the village board, would handle the selection and hiring. It would be up to the mayor to reappoint the clerk every four years or find a new one. State law allows villages with fewer than 5,000 residents to make that change with a village board vote; Island Lake has a population of 8,000, so voter approval is needed. Noting that the small town can have problems attracting candidates, proponents say the change would encourage qualified clerk candidates who wouldn't otherwise want to campaign, expand the pool of candidates beyond village boundaries and allow the mayor and trustees to interview and select the best person for the job. It might also add some stability in Island Lake, where the job has changed hands several times in recent years. Opponents say voters should decide who will be clerk and fear the job could become politicized. Those are important points that should not be taken lightly. However, we believe the move would give a small town like Island Lake some needed help in landing qualified candidates for what is a part-time job with no voting powers but lots of important duties. We recommend a YES vote.

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