Twice, voters overwhelmingly turned down referendums put forth by the city of DeKalb, asking them to give up their voting rights and switch from an elected city clerk to an appointed one.
Instead of following the people’s will, various city leaders tried to take control of the position over the years, from reducing it to a part-time position by cutting the pay to such a low level that they hoped no one would want it, to taking away a desk and workspace from an award-winning clerk.
The latest circus regarding the current clerk and the city’s seal is nothing more than another elaborate attempt to circumvent the public will and grab more power by the city manager, no matter how he spins it in the media and for the council.
The city clerk’s position should remain elected and be restored to its previous full-time status.
The positions of DeKalb County Clerk and Recorder and DeKalb County Circuit Clerk are both full-time and elected. Efforts to say that elected officers cannot be professional are an affront to those elected positions, too.
The city’s seal is important, too. The process involves the city clerk verifying documents and confirming them with the seal and clerk’s signature. The two main reasons why Rita Crundwell got away with stealing over $53 million from the city of Dixon are that there was not another set of independent eyes checking her work in the city’s procedures, and too many people trusted her.
Do you trust the current leadership in the city of DeKalb to process documents without error (innocent or otherwise), without having another set of eyes checking them? By the way, Crundwell’s position was appointed, not elected. An elected city clerk is independent of city staff and represents the people of DeKalb.
People of DeKalb, never, ever give up your voting rights. Allowing anyone to strip you of your voting rights is an affront to all who fought in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, World War II, and those who died during the civil rights and women’s suffrage movements. Now is the time to contact your City Council members and the mayor, and let them know you will not stand back and let them take away your voting rights. Demand they restore the city clerk to its previous full-time level for the next election.
Kay Shelton Kozak