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posted: 7/30/2014 1:01 AM

Prospect Hts. clerk and treasurer could be appointed

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Prospect Heights voters will decide Nov. 4 whether the city clerk and city treasurer positions should be appointed rather than elected, the city council decided this week.

The council voted Monday to put the questions on the ballot as binding referendums.

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Mayor Nick Helmer said the electorate usually approves moves to eliminate jobs and save money. He said city staff members -- the assistant city clerk and the finance director -- already do the work assigned to the two offices.

"If we get in a bind and think we need those offices, we could always appoint someone," said Helmer.

All elected officials in Prospect Heights receive $100 a month. However, the council has voted that after the April municipal election that amount will increase to $250 per month, with the mayor receiving $350.

Rich Tibbits, who has been city treasurer since 2003, agreed that the two elected offices delegate duties to staff. However, these two positions do not cost much, he said, and could save on use of expensive staff time.

"It's another set of eyes and ears and allows the electorate to be represented by somebody else independent and able to observe what's going on," he said.

Tibbits said when he was first elected, a previous administration did not want him as involved as he thought he would be. But early in his career, he found an error that when corrected meant more cash was available for investment for police pensions.

"I haven't seen anything like that lately because things are running better," said Tibbits. "Part of the reason it is running well should be credited to all of us doing our jobs."

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