In a week’s time, Oak Park and River Forest will both have new village clerks. In Oak Park, voters will have chosen one person from among the oddly large pool of five candidates. Meanwhile in River Forest, one of two write-in candidates will become clerk.
With the continued diminishment of the role of clerk in Oak Park as duties have logically been shifted to other departments and technology has been put in place, we’re unclear of the necessity of the well-paid clerk’s position. And when River Forest can’t even find clerk candidates who make it to the ballot in the more traditional manner of passing petitions, it becomes something of an embarrassment.
It is time to consider enacting the local ordinances necessary to make these positions appointed rather than elected and to fold the remaining record-keeping duties into logical slots within the clerical functions of the village manager/administrator offices.