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Government
WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

DeKalb Council Tables Appointment Ordinance

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Sarah Jesmer
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City Council members met on August 26. Included in the agenda was a second reading of an ordinance that could change the city clerk's seat from elected to appointed. The Council tabled the ordinance Monday night.

The City of DeKalb has been in debates over the position of city clerk. They recently held a city council vote that could've changed the job to appointed rather than elected. The council tabled the ordinance (2019-055) that would make the clerk appointed on Monday night. 

 

Some saw appointing a clerk potentially undemocratic. Mayor Jerry Smith voted in favor of making the seat appointed in past council meetings, but changed his tone Monday night. 

 

“And while this city could certainly join a host of other Illinois municipalities in making this change, it was clear that [Smith and supporting aldermen] had not adequately listened to the citizenry who had voted by referendum that DeKalb’s city clerk should be an elected position,” he said. 

 

He said City Hall is seeking unity between the offices of city clerk and manager. Smith said last week that the City Manager Bill Nicklas and City Clerk Lynn Fazekas have been “at odds.” 

“We’re still not there yet. With differing views about how we can serve the public with the administrative duties that need to be accomplished, I hope that over the coming weeks we can indeed have an honest, thoughtful discussion among all parties,” said Smith. 

 

The Mayor said input from the DeKalb County State’s Attorney contributed to changing his perspective.

The council will be considering the duties of the clerk’s office in the coming weeks including if the deputy clerk should carry their own city seal, or stamp, that makes city documents official. 

 

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