Former Island Lake trustee is new village clerk

  • Georgine Cooper

    Georgine Cooper

Updated 10/23/2015 12:14 AM

Former Island Lake Trustee Georgine Cooper is returning to government work as the town's village clerk.

Cooper, 63, was appointed to the post by the village board during Thursday night. She took the oath of office after the board's unanimous vote.


Cooper will serve until spring 2017, when the seat is scheduled to be up for election.

Cooper's replaces interim Clerk Jen Gomez, who resigned Sept. 14 after a disagreement with village officials about her work schedule.

Teresa Ponio was Island Lake's last elected clerk, taking the job in May 2013. But she became ill and took an extended medical leave in 2014. Gomez was named interim clerk in October 2014. Ponio died this past January.

Cooper served on the village board from 1987 to 1995. That was during Mayor Charles Amrich's first stint as the town's mayor, and he nominated her for the post.

"She (did) a fantastic job when she was a trustee, and I'm sure she'll do the same as village clerk," Amrich said.

A former teacher who now works in educational product development for a Vernon Hills company, Cooper said she inquired about filling the vacant clerks job after reading about Gomez's resignation.

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"Public service is always a good thing," Cooper told the Daily Herald before the meeting.

"Sometimes it takes someone fresh to come in and help."

The Island Lake community and village trustees have been divided over political issues for many years, although the controversies have lessened recently. Cooper said she wants to bring people together, even if they disagree on village matters.

Also at Thursday's meeting, Trustee Debra Jenkins announced plans to resign from the board because she and her husband, Greg, are moving to Chicago.

Jenkins was elected to a 4-year term earlier this year. Her resignation is effective Jan. 15, 2016.

"It breaks my heart to leave this town," she said. "I've had a great time serving, and I just can't thank you enough for believing in me."

The board will appoint a new trustee to replace Jenkins.

Jenkins is the second Island Lake trustee to resign this year. Tony Sciarrone quit to become the town's police chief. He was replaced by Eberhard "Kiki" Becker in July.

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