Voters to decide whether Round Lake village clerk should be appointed or elected

  • Voters in Round Lake will decide whether village clerk should be an elected or appointed position.

      Voters in Round Lake will decide whether village clerk should be an elected or appointed position. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

Updated 3/27/2023 6:26 PM

After six months without a village clerk and no candidates on the ballot running for the unexpired two-year term, Round Lake voters will be asked their preference of how the position should be filled.

While most referendum questions on the April 4 ballot involve a tax hike or authority to raise funds to pay for various projects, the question in Round Lake is whether the village clerk should be appointed by the mayor with the village board's consent, or remain an elected post.


Despite being advertised on the village website, on the police department's social media page and in four newsletters, the post has been vacant for six months and there are no candidates running for the unexpired two-year term.

The board on Dec. 19 unanimously approved putting the question on the ballot, to have a professional in the position and to have the flexibility to "cast a wider net" to include such skilled individuals from the area, according to Village Administrator Steven Shields.

A public information session on the referendum question is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday at village hall, 442 N. Cedar Lake Road.

Village officials say it has been hard to keep a village clerk due to the limited scope of the position. The annual salary is $4,200 but has been authorized to increase to $6,000 after the April 4 election.

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Duties include attending and calling roll at public meetings; taking minutes of village board and committee of the whole meetings; overseeing the local election process; signing village documents and maintaining records; and, overseeing responses to public records requests.

Other duties include posting minutes, audio recordings and other notices, and keeping files of approved ordinances, resolutions and other documents.

The matter is on the ballot because the village can only change its officers and the way they are selected by referendum, unless otherwise authorized by state law.

According to the village, 21 of the 52 municipalities in Lake County have appointed rather than elected clerks.

An elected clerk has to live in town and can't be required by the board to hold specific qualifications or obtain training. Clerks can be recalled but can't be removed by a board vote.

Appointed clerks are village employees with technical training but don't have to live in town. If voters agree a clerk should be appointed, candidates would be considered based on qualifications and abilities. The person must be able to take minutes, have knowledge of state laws regarding record keeping, and be familiar with village processes and procedures.

If voters keep it as an elected position, Mayor Russell Kraly would appoint a clerk who would then run in the April 2025 election for a two-year term.

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