Citizen Protest City Clerk’s Position
A group of approximately 12 people gathered in front of DeKalb City Hall to express concerns regarding the Monday, August 12, Council meeting where the future of the DeKalb City Clerk’s position will be discussed.
On Monday, there will be a resolution presented to the Mayor of DeKalb and Council members regarding the position of City Clerk. Ordinance 2019-055 provides that the office of City Clerk shall hereafter be an appointive office, within the legal guidelines for this constitutional office. The City Clerk shall hereafter be appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the City Council and may be removed as an appointed officer pursuant to 65 ILCS 5/3.1-35-10.
Some of the people holding signs were very vocal on the fact the city has had two referendums making the office of DeKalb City Clerk an elected official.
“The position of City Clerk should be elected to protect the right of the citizens that elected them,” said local citizen Kathy Guyer. “The voters need representation on the official business of the city, not someone appointed by City Officials”.
“The will of the people should be heard as there have been two times the issue of an elected City Clerk was on the ballet,” said former Mayor Bessie Chronopoulos. “Changing the reporting process will create a negative effect on how citizens are involved in the running of the city through their votes”.
DeKalb County Online had a brief conversation with current City Clerk Lynn Allen Fazekas as she was leaving City Hall for a meeting in Sycamore. DCO asked how many hours each week to accomplished the mission to be an effective Clerk. “Each week is different depending on the requirements and needs for events and activities of the city government. Sometimes it can be as few as 12 to 15 hours, but most weeks between 30 to 35 hours”.
“The City Clerk has the job of reviewing rules and codes so that the city runs efficiently”, said Fazekas. “The clerk has both statutory and non-statutory activities to fulfill the role as City Clerk”.
Social media and blogs have covered this event with both fanatic and rational comments being made on the side of having an elected official versus an appointed city clerk.
Mayor Jerry Smith came out of City Hall to talk with those in attendance. “The future of the City Clerk’s position must be resolved, we have had 8 City Clerks in 10 years which should be concerning to everyone,” said Smith.
There is a call for action to attend the Monday meeting and speak on this issue. You can find a speaker form on the City’s website which can be pre-written and send the completed form to the Mayor (Jerry.Smith@cityofdekalb.com) or City Clerk (Lynn.Fazekas@CITYOFDEKALB.com).
During the meeting, the Mayor will call your name at the time of the item you wish to comment on. Verbal presentations are limited to three (3) minutes. You do not have to speak or even attend the meeting to send this message. If you attend the meeting and decide not to speak, you can decline when your name is called.
Duties & Responsibilities of The City Clerk Position
Since 2013, the DeKalb City Council has assigned the City Clerk only the duties specifically set by Illinois statutes and local ordinances, which means the position is currently part-time. (from DeKalb City Website)
The duties are as follows:
- The City Clerk is the keeper of the City Seal. The City Clerk is responsible for attesting the Mayor’s signature and applying the City Seal to all ordinances, resolutions, agreements, and some licenses and permits.
- The City Clerk must attend all meetings of City Council including executive sessions.
- The City Clerk takes roll call of all votes and notes the votes for the official record.
- The City Clerk prepares all minutes of meetings held by City Council and maintains audio recordings of executive sessions.
- Duties associated with municipal elections.
Note: To be elected a person must be 21 years old, a resident of DeKalb (IL) and not been convicted as a felon.