The Oak Park Township Board of Trustees has appointed DaToya Burtin-Cox to the role of township clerk. Burtin-Cox is stepping into the role following the death of long-time township clerk Greg White who had served as township clerk since 1997. White died in July after a short illness.
Burtin-Cox was chosen from a pool of applicants. She told Wednesday Journal her decision to apply was rooted in the principle that citizens should play an active role in the community in which they live.
“We completely believe that when you become a part of the community, you should participate in that community,” said Burtin-Cox of a view she shares with her husband.
From a personal standpoint, the mission of the township resonates with Burtin-Cox. The township provides social services and programming for Oak Park residents of all ages and capabilities.
“The position that the township takes, I saw it as the compassionate portion of the village,” said Burtin-Cox. “It works to ensure a lifestyle for its residents, especially those that are elderly or disabled, or young – those people that really don’t have a voice.”
The township, Burtin-Cox said, allows those voices to be heard and appreciated.
She brings her legal background to the role of clerk. Burtin-Cox currently serves as the Pro-Bono Network’s assistant program director, placing great emphasis on equity and inclusion programming. She previously worked with the Illinois Attorney General’s office and the City of Chicago.
In addition to keeping minutes during township board meetings, the clerk’s responsibilities include being the custodian of township records and serving as the township’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) officer. Burtin-Cox said she is excited to take on such an important role.
“I think the innerworkings of the governmental bodies of Oak Park should be made apparent to the public,” said Burtin-Cox. “That’s my job.”