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posted: 11/8/2012 9:25 AM

Pingree Grove clerk now appointed position

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The village clerk's job in Pingree Grove is an appointed position, rather than an elected one, now that the village board voted in favor of the change earlier this week.

A supermajority vote was needed for the change, and the village board voted 5-0, Village Administrator Ken Lopez said. In August, the board appointed Michelle Figuerola as village clerk after the departure of the former village clerk, who had been elected in 2011.

Figuerola would have had to run for election in April if she wanted to keep the part-time position, which pays $50 per meeting.

"That's a hard question," she said a potential run. "It's obviously easier not to have to run for election," she said, adding she has a full-time job and is a full-time student. "I love the job. I'd hate not to be part of it. "

Figuerola was first appointed as village clerk in 2007. She made more than $38,000 in 2010, when village officials realized the position should have been an elected one, and therefore subject to much lower pay.

Having an appointed clerk is just easier for a small community, Lopez said.

"The potential candidates that may be willing to participate are few and far between. I had no inquires about anyone interested (in running in April)," he said. "Rather than having an elected position vacant because of lack of interest, it's easier to appoint someone."

Trustee Bernie Thomas said nothing will change in terms of salary. "Right now we don't know that anybody is even going to run for the job, based on the salary that's attached to it," he said.

In Tuesday's general election, voters in Island Lake, Bloomingdale and Campton Hills voted down proposals to have appointed, rather than elected, village clerks. Because Pingree Grove has fewer than 5,000 residents, the village board had the authority to make that change, Lopez said.

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