Island Lake trustees want a new clerk on board, mayor says it could happen in June
Island Lake Mayor Debbie Herrmann should find a replacement village clerk soon, trustees said Monday.
The elected post has been vacant since April 4, when Pam Miller resigned nearly midway through her four-year term.
Under state law, a mayor recommends a candidate to fill a vacancy in the clerk's office. The village board can then approve or reject that recommendation.
Newly elected Trustee Shannon Fox was among those who believes Herrmann should select a nominee soon.
The vacancy has been creating more work for Deputy Village Clerk Jen Gomez, Fox said. Gomez has been filling in for Miller, attending board meetings and recording summaries of those meetings.
"She's having to do two part-time jobs," Fox said in an interview.
Chuck Cermak, another new trustee, said Gomez is "doing what she can" when it comes to handling both jobs and praised her work. Still, he agreed the clerk's position should be filled properly.
When Miller resigned, Herrmann said she planned to wait until after new board members took office in May to recommend a candidate.
Unlike a vacancy on a village board or a city council, which must be filled within 60 days of the opening, state law has no deadline for filling a vacant clerk's post.
Herrmann said she hopes to recommend a candidate in June.
Trustee Laurie Rabattini would like the clerk's job to be filled quickly but said it isn't a priority for her. Resolving the ongoing dispute between Herrmann and the trustees about the town's legal representation and setting a budget for the new fiscal year, which began May 1, are more important, Rabattini said.
Gomez said she wants to replace Miller. Of the 10 people who approached Herrmann about the post after Miller quit, Gomez was the only one who met the job's residency requirement, the mayor said.
Village clerks must live in the town they are elected to serve. They must also be at least 18 years old and registered voters.
A note about the vacancy will be included in the next village newsletter, which will be sent to residents this week, Herrmann said.
Interested applicants should send an email to Herrmann at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Miller had run for office in 2009 as part of Herrmann's political slate. After winning election, Miller hired Gomez to be deputy clerk.
Whether its Gomez or a different candidate, the eventual appointee will need to show political independence, Rabattini said.
"The clerk can't (take) sides," said Rabattini, who has been at odds with the mayor and her allies on many local political issues. "She needs to be neutral."
Responding to the comments about Gomez's current workload, Herrmann denied Gomez is overworked. If Gomez is appointed clerk, officials will discuss eliminating the deputy clerk position, Herrmann said.