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Our View: Let next DeKalb County clerk and recorder move forward

Published: Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

John Acardo’s announcement that he will quit as DeKalb County clerk and recorder Sept. 17 was disappointing.

Acardo, who only a couple of weeks earlier had announced he would run for re-election, instead will become director of human resources at Kishwaukee College in Malta. We wish him well and thank him for his work in public service.

His decision to leave without completing his four-year term will go down as the only smudge on an otherwise solid record of improving the accessibility of the county’s public records.

Acardo, 30, is a Republican, and state law dictates that his replacement must be as well. So the challenge for DeKalb County Board Chairman Jeffery Metzger and the rest of the county’s Republican establishment will have to find an able-minded person who can continue the work of making public information easily available.

This job should be about accuracy, efficiency and perhaps most importantly, providing the public easy access to public information. Residents will be ill-served if the next clerk does not understand the importance of making public information easily available and searchable online.

That was one thing that Acardo clearly understood. His website, www.DeKalbClerk.com, probably is the most useful and functional government website in DeKalb County. It is a great conduit to information about land records, tax services, election information and results, and more.

The clerk’s office also is charged with coordinating elections, one of the most interactive functions of any government. This too is an important task that will require an organized mind.

The county board plans to declare the office vacant Aug. 21, and then Metzger and county Republican Party Chairman Steve Kuhn will take applications for his successor. They hope to name a successor by Sept. 18.

We hope that in searching for the next clerk and recorder, they will consider not only who has been a loyal partisan who could win in upcoming spring elections, but who will help move the office further into the future, as more and more people seek to find government records, election results, and other important public information through the Internet.

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