Karen E. Walsh: 2021 candidate for Mundelein village clerk
Three candidates running for one, 4-year term.
Civic involvement: Mundelein Historical Commission Member
Q: Why are you running for this office, whether for reelection or election the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is it?
A: Being nearly a lifelong Mundelein resident, I have a pretty good understanding of what the village was years ago and what it is now. I attend all the board meetings, either in person or online, and read the packet thoroughly before the meetings so that I know what will be discussed beforehand. Capturing the issues, comments, discussions, votes, attendance and anything else pertinent that happens during the board meetings is obviously the goal and job of the clerk position. I know that I am qualified to do these things if elected; it is time for me to stop watching from the sidelines and do the work, and that is my motivation.
Q: Some communities have contracted out for certain services, such as snowplowing, to save money. What innovative methods would you propose to reduce your office's budget? Explain your answer.
A: I'm not aware of what the clerk's office budget is but I am aware of the time trustees put into their jobs versus the clerk's time and there is a pretty big difference, yet the positions pay the same. Adjusting the salary paid to the clerk position would be reasonable to me. If additional responsibilities were added to the clerk position requiring more time spent to get the job done, the salary could then reflect that.
Q: The state's revised Freedom of Information Act guidelines renewed focus on open government. Name one specific step you would take if elected to increase government transparency in your office.
A: Taking the most complete meeting minutes as possible. The foremost step in this is to attend every meeting the clerk is required to attend, and then review the video of the meeting to verify that everything has been accurately captured by me. Having a good and complete record of what the meeting's issues were and how they were discussed and voted on (if a vote was necessary) is the clerk's role in transparency and obviously creates a record for the future.
Q: What steps would you take as village clerk to improve and increase the flow of information to residents?
A: Since we already have a weekly village e-newsletter (Mundelein Connection E-newsletter) and a quarterly Mundelein Insider newsletter sent to the village's residents and a Facebook page, I feel we are doing pretty well on getting information out there. I think we need to do more phone blasts (in multiple languages) informing residents of snow parking ordinances, leaf pickups, social events like the Halloween and Christmas decoration contests and other Community events. Residents do listen to these.