Sycamore City Clerk candidate Shaney Herrmann submitted this questionnaire, answering the Daily Chronicle's questions in the 2017 Sycamore City Clerk race.
Name: Shaney Herrmann
Office sought: Sycamore City Clerk
1) This is a full-time job. Why should voters hire you?
On paper, I seem a very unlikely candidate. I have been a teacher for over twenty years with no political experience, but when I researched the role of a city clerk, I realized the two careers were very similar. What makes me a good teacher is my ability to cooperate with and help all different types of personalities. This is done in an environment that requires a lot of paperwork and regulation. I thoroughly enjoy both aspects of teaching. They both translate to being a good city clerk. The clerks helps the public but does so within the guidelines set out by the city government. It’s working with people and paperwork.
2) What civic involvement have you had until now? What have you learned from it?
My civic involvement has been one of passionate observer and encourager. Basically, I’ve taught a lot of government classes with much discussion about the working of local government. I’ve also preached the importance of being civically involved to my students. When I was approached about running for city clerk, I realized it was time to put my money where my mouth was. While this would be my first position in government, it is one that I am well suited for and passionate about.
3) Should the city clerk have any role in setting policy? What?
City policy really belongs in the hands of the city council and city manager. The job of the clerk is to enforce some of those policies and be the keeper of records. If there are issues involving the actual completing of these records, then, of course, the clerk’s opinion should be taken into consideration.
4) How effective is the City Clerk’s website? How would you change it, if at all?
The website, while informative, needs to allow for more direct interaction with citizens. Most importantly, there needs to be a way to pay fees and perhaps apply for permits on-line. Rather than emailing the clerk with questions, it would be beneficial to have a discussion page and a frequently asked question section.
5) How can you as the city clerk make local government more open and responsive to citizens?
The first step to opening up local government is to embrace today’s technology. Again, there needs to be a direct link on-line for questions and payments. The creation of an app that could also accomplish this would be a huge benefit. Today’s citizens deserve the best and most advanced resources a government can provide.