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Yorkville seeking input on elected positions of city clerk, treasurer

A referendum will be on the November ballot in Yorkville to convert the elected offices of city clerk and treasure into appointed positions.

The Yorkville City Council unanimously approved the adoption of a measure calling for a binding referendum at their June 28 meeting.

Making both of these jobs appointed, rather than elected, allows Yorkville to set education and experience requirements, which could not be done for elected officials.

In Oswego, the village clerk is an appointed position, which requires the person holding the job to have Certified Municipal Clerk certification within five years of appointment. The City of Yorkville intends to explore the options that an appointed position will permit.

The Administration Committee last discussed this matter at their June meeting.

For nearly four years, the city’s finance director has assumed responsibilities for the duties that were once designated to the office of the treasurer.

Alderman Joel Frieders said he supports the idea of eliminating the two elected jobs in favor of appointed positions, after previously siding on behalf of those voting to keep in place the elected positions in 2012.

Around this time, the city was discussing the placement of the referendum in relation to other questions regarding home rule and REC Center. In order to reintroduce these two ideas, the city needed to vote on it before the August 22 deadline.

Frieders noted that understanding the difference between appointments and elections is key to the city’s governance.

“After understanding that the simple difference between appointments and elections is accountability, and that through elections you get people like and through appointments, you get people like Rob,” he said. “… From understanding the difference between those two ways to getting a position, it makes me feel a little more comfortable about my own role, but it also makes me completely comfortable in getting rid of it.”

At this time, the finance director fulfills the duties of the city treasurer as the current deputy city treasurer. If the office of the treasurer was changed to an appointed position by referendum, adopting a city ordinance could subsequently eliminate the job and allow those duties to be fulfilled by other members of in-house staff.

The city intends to save about $10,000 by removing the elected positions.

If the city clerk referendum question is approved by the City Council and the question is received well by voters through the November ballot, the existing clerk would serve out her term through 2019.

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