Endorsement: Yes to appointed Mundelein village clerk

 
The Daily Herald Editorial Board
Posted2/26/2016 1:00 AM

For the second time in two years, Mundelein voters will decide if the village clerk should be an elected or appointed post.

Voters rejected an identical proposal in April 2013, so success isn't certain. But Trustee Ray Semple thinks the time is right to ask voters again. He makes a good point, reminding residents that the clerk doesn't work for the mayor or the administrator,

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Historically, Mundelein's clerk has been an elected job, with candidates running every four years for job duties that include taking notes at village board meetings and handling various paperwork-related tasks at village hall. Many of the clerical duties were divided among other staff members.

The clerk used to be a full-time job, but it's been part-time since 2005. The clerk earns $9,012 annually, the same as trustees.

Katy Timmerman has held the job since 2013. Timmerman's term ends in May 2017, and that's when an appointed clerk would take over if the voters support the proposal.

Some details to consider: As an elected public official, the clerk doesn't answer to anyone on a day-to-day basis. Professional training isn't required, either. If a future clerk fails to come to work or handles the job poorly, only the voters can do something about it when the job is up for election again.

The clerk doesn't have political decision-making authority, doesn't set policy and doesn't oversee a staff.

Like any local elected official, the clerk simply must be an American citizen, a resident of Mundelein and a registered voter. The lack of qualifications are a concern for Village Administrator John Lobaito. He stressed to the village board that the "job is too important to chance that a candidate with the right organizational skills for the job would be elected."

We agree with him. It's been many years since Mundelein had a contested clerk race, and making the position appointed rather than elected could help ensure a clerk has the right skills to do the job. We recommend voting yes to an appointed village clerk position.

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