Endorsement: Mastalski for Des Plaines clerk
Voters in Des Plaines will be electing a new city clerk to succeed Jennifer Tsalapatanis.
The position is a highly administrative one -- record and prepare the minutes of city council meetings, process Freedom of Information Act requests, oversee local elections in coordination with the Cook County clerk's office.
While voters only two years ago reaffirmed it as an elective position, it nonetheless is an office that is intended to be free of politics.
The clerk's duty is to the public, not to other officeholders. The job is to provide transparency in the way government works; that is harder to do if the clerk is influenced by politicians who might on occasion, for example, prefer to shade the minutes or keep delicate information hidden.
That being the case, our endorsement goes to Jessica Mastalski, whose financial background instills a devotion to meticulous accuracy. We do not view her as a perfect candidate; she can be unnecessarily strident. But we are impressed by her campaign's pledge to promote public access and to defend the public's right to know.
Her opponent, Justin Cochran, is enthusiastic and hardworking, but as the chief of staff to state Rep. Marty Moylan, onetime mayor of Des Plaines, he is just too political in both his approach and his connections.
We think highly of Moylan; that's got nothing to do with it. Des Plaines needs to keep politics out of the clerk's office, and in this case, there's only one candidate who will do that: Mastalski.