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New DeKalb clerk keeping similar Maple Park job

Published: Thursday, April 11, 2013 5:51 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, April 11, 2013 11:15 p.m. CDT
(Rob Winner – rwinner@shawmedia.com)
Liz Peerboom works at her desk within the Maple Park Civic Center on Thursday. Peerboom who is the village clerk for Maple Park also was recently elected as the next DeKalb city clerk.

DeKALB – Liz Peerboom will work as the village clerk of Maple Park while serving out her term as DeKalb's new elected city clerk.

Both Peerboom and City Attorney Dean Frieders said state law allows for her to work in both capacities. State law does prohibit elected officials from holding offices that would create a conflict of interest, or where one office could adversely affect the other.

"In this case, there is no statutory prohibition on holding both offices," Frieders said in an e-mail. "And there is no relationship between the two units of government that would create a conflict of interest or conflicting duties and obligations."

Peerboom, 51, was the clear winner in Tuesday's four-way write-in race for the city clerk position, collecting 75 percent of the vote.

"I was humbled," Peerboom said. "I was hoping to win obviously, but I never dreamed it would be by that large of a margin."

Peerboom will be sworn in with other new DeKalb leaders – Mayor-elect John Rey, and aldermen-elect Bill Finucane and Robert Snow – at a special meeting May 6. The Maple Park job is an appointed position in which she makes $13.26 an hour and works 20 to 30 hours weekly.

Peerboom had previously worked for the city of DeKalb for 19 years, working in different departments until her retirement in 2010. Peerboom said she has already been in contact with the DeKalb clerk's office as well as the city's information technology department.

Peerboom said she expects to take on the full duties of the DeKalb office, even though the council reduced a part-time position.

"I'm going to be doing it because I care about the city, not because of the money," Peerboom said. "It's a very important role in the city. I do believe it is worth more than what it's being paid now." 

In February 2012, Steve Kapitan resigned from the DeKalb city clerk he was elected to in 2009 after reportedly failing to comply with the state’s Open Meetings Act.

The controversy around Kapitan’s exit led to the DeKalb City Council reducing the clerk’s salary to $5,000 a year after DeKalb voters defeated a referendum to make the elected office an appointed position.

Meanwhile, a deputy clerk will become a full-time position with benefits and likely will be assigned to handle much of the clerk’s duties that are not prescribed by law.       

Biernacki said no elected official can raise the salary of their own office for their current. At the last meeting of June preceding a municipal election, the city council reviews the salaries for elected officials. The next time the council will be able to raise the clerk's salary will be in June 2016, near the end of Peerboom's term.

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