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updated: 3/20/2017 4:25 PM

Round Lake voters to decide if clerk should be appointed

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  • Round Lake Village Administrator Steven Shields

    Round Lake Village Administrator Steven Shields

 
 

Round Lake voters will decide in a referendum next month if they should continue electing the village clerk or make it an appointed administrative position.

Under the proposed shift, Round Lake's mayor would appoint the clerk with the advice and consent of the village board, similar to how other administrative jobs are filled.

If approved, the change would not go into effect until 2021. For now, Maria Simoncelli is running unopposed in the April 4 election for a four-year term as clerk.

The clerk's responsibilities include taking village board meeting minutes, document filing, responding to Freedom of Information Act requests and ordering supplies.

Round Lake Village Administrator Steven Shields said the change could provide some savings to the village.

"The intent was, if we can appoint this position, we could use current staff to do the same functions as the clerk now," Shields said.

An appointed clerk would be another step in Round Lake's effort to restructure village management, he said.

Shields said there are also possible benefits to keeping the village clerk as an elected job.

"They're accountable to voters," he said. "They're not influenced by let's say me, the administrator. They typically can make their own schedules like our clerk does now. She works full time, so she comes in after hours. They can basically be impartial, nonpartisan."

However, he added, there is the risk of an unqualified person being elected.

The Round Lake's clerk's salary will be reduced from $20,000 annually to $4,200 effective after next month's election.

Voters in Highwood also will decide April 4 if the city clerk should be elected or appointed by the mayor.

Mundelein voters rejected the idea of an appointed village clerk when asked in referendum questions in 2016 and 2013, as did voters in Prospect Heights in 2014.

Early voting for the April 4 election began Monday and continues through April 3. For locations, visit www.lakecountyil.gov/DocumentCenter/View/16690.

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