DeKalb City Clerk: Appointed or Elected

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On Monday, August 12, 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. 

The long history of the office of City Clerk in DeKalb. For years Donna Johnson was the elected (full time) City Clerk and she knew every rule and regulation that involved the City of DeKalb.  In most Illinois localities, the job of Clerk reflects both the rise of government in civil affairs and the increasing professionalization of the functions of municipal government. Without chronicling this rich and detailed history, it is safe to say that the earliest City Clerks were elected to take care of the “business” of the City, aside from the duties of the elected Mayor and Council members. Some job descriptions for City Clerks in the early part of the twentieth century had to assume the duties of treasurer, finance director, and human resources director in addition to recording the proceedings of the elected government. Despite the range of functions in earlier times, no particular training or experience is currently required of the City Clerks. In the City of DeKalb the candidate only need to be 21 years of age or older, a DeKalb resident, and could not have committed a felony. There are no background checks or required skill sets. There is no certificate required to be City Clerk, so elected or appointed, the position can be filled without more than the basic requirements stated above. During the past seven years, elected and appointed Clerks have alternated in an erratic pattern.

Recent History of the Office of City Clerk for the City of DeKalb as shown in the timeline below: 

• Steve Kapitan, City Clerk (Elected) – May 2009 to January/February 2012 (Resigned) • Diane Wright, City Clerk (Appointed) – February 2012 to May 2013 (held the office until the following City Clerk was seated)  • Liz Peerboom, City Clerk (Write in Candidate, Elected) – May 2013 to September 2014 (Resigned) • Marcia Sweigert, City Clerk (Appointed) – January 2015 to May 2015 (Resigned) • No one filed as a candidate for the City Clerk role in the 2015 election • Suzanne Pupino, City Clerk (Appointed) – May 2015 to May 2015 (Resigned) • Jennifer Jeep Johnson, City Clerk (Appointed) – July 2015 to May 2017 (held the office until the following City Clerk was seated) • Susanna Herrmann, City Clerk (Elected) – May 2017 to April 2018 (Resigned) • Lynn Fazekas, City Clerk (Appointed) – August 2018 to Present

The site below is the Speaker Request Form for council meetings. It is a fillable PDF file, so you can save it to your computer as a blank form, fill it out, or both. A filled out form can be printed and taken to the August 12th council meeting or attached to emails to send to the mayor or other elected person(s) of choice in advance. There will be blank Speaker Request Forms available the evening of the council meeting.

You can 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 about. Verbal presentations are limited to three (3) minutes. You do not actually 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. https://www.cityofdekalb.com/DocumentCenter/View/9518/Speaker-Request-Form—Council-Meetings?fbclid=IwAR2EqROIUhem3wo2wODuE2xbA-LaHLsdc_UKMFN3Bl4_gYz61w4HU6IymW8

 Agendas for the August 12, 2019 Committee of the Whole and Regular meetings are now posted on the City’s website.  Links are provided below for your convenience. 

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