The Village of Algonquin, IL

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Village Clerk Referendum FAQs

BACKGROUND

A referendum question will be included on the November 3, 2020, ballot asking voters of Algonquin to vote whether the Village Clerk shall be an appointed or an elected position. Under state law, a home rule municipality like Algonquin can only change its officers and the manner of their selection by referendum, unless otherwise authorized by law.

Shall the Clerk of the Village of Algonquin be appointed by the Village President, with the advice and consent of the Village Board, rather than be elected, effective May 1, 2021? YES
NO

The Village Clerk is currently an elected position with administrative responsibilities for the day to day activities of the Office of the Village Clerk which are managed and carried out by Village staff. The more public aspects of the position include roll calling during public meetings, overseeing the local election process, taking minutes, certifying Village agreements, and administering Oaths of Office for Village officials. The Village Clerk does not vote during Board meetings and is not a policy making member of the Village Board.

VOTING YES OR NO?

What Does it Mean if I Vote Yes?

Voting yes to the referendum question indicates your preference for the Village Clerk to be appointed by the Village President with concurrence of the Board. The appointed Village Clerk would be a Village staff member with the technical training to carry out the many ministerial duties of Village Clerk. The appointment would be made in May 2021.

What Does it Mean if I Vote No?

Voting no would indicate your preference for the position to be elected. In this case, a successfully elected candidate for the office of Village Clerk would take office in May 2021.

APPOINTED V.S. ELECTED

What Would Happen if the Village Clerk were to Become an Appointed Position? 

The work currently conducted by the Village Clerk will be reassigned to an existing Village staff member. This is not dissimilar from other communities that have assigned the duties of an appointed Village Clerk to a full-time staff member. In Algonquin's case, these responsibilities would likely fall to the Deputy Village Clerk who has been carrying out the day-to-day duties of the Clerk's Office for the past several years.

What Would Happen if the Village Clerk were to Remain an Elected Position?

An elected Village Clerk would continue to be responsible for the day-to-day activities of the Office of the Village Clerk, which are carried out by Village Staff. The position responsibilities would continue to include calling the roll during public meetings, overseeing the local election process, taking minutes, certifying Village agreements, and administering Oaths of Office for Village officials.

Currently, the requirements for someone to become an elected Village Clerk include being an Algonquin resident, filing a petition packet to appear on the ballot, and receiving the majority vote. There is no requirement for relevant expertise.

What are the Benefits to Changing the Village Clerk to an Appointed Position?

The Village would be able to consider individuals for the position based on qualifications and abilities, in the same way other staff members are evaluated for a position. Often, an elected Village Clerk will have to be trained and briefed on the roles and responsibilities of the position.

Why does that matter?

The Village Clerk’s responsibilities require familiarity and strict compliance with multiple laws and procedures, so the efficient administration of the Village benefits from having the position filled by someone with the necessary qualifications and experience. In addition, the digitization of records has increased the demand for technical capacity and understanding, including the knowledge of software systems that maintain records.

What are the Benefits to Keeping the Village Clerk an Elected position?

An elected Clerk may be presumed to be more service oriented and responsive to the demands of residents as they are subject to being voted out of the office every four years. With an elected Village Clerk, residents are afforded a more direct say in the selection of an individual to carry out the duties of the Village Clerk’s Office.

Residents may also have the opportunity to better know the individual running for the office of Village Clerk, as that individual will need to collect petition signatures every four years to be included on the ballot. This may include going door-to-door or soliciting for signatures at various locations throughout the community.

OTHER INFORMATION

Do Other Communities Have Appointed Clerks?

Certainly. Other communities that have appointed Village Clerks include Carpentersville, East Dundee, Elburn, Elgin, Downers Grove, Hinsdale, Huntley, Naperville, West Dundee, Wheaton, Woodstock, and Yorkville to name a few.