Below are candidate-submitted answers to a biographical survey Riverside-Brookfield Landmark sent out to all candidates running in this year’s elections.
Previous political experience:
Village Clerk 2006-2013; Village Clerk 2015 – present
Previous community experience:
Member of the Brookfield Chamber of Commerce; volunteer for all village events including Senior Social, Monsters on Main Street, Holiday Celebration, Project N.I.C.E. and Meet the Creek.
Occupation: Real Estate Broker @ Berkshire Hathaway Home Services
Education: Maria High School, Chicago; some college
Why are you interested in the position of village clerk?
I began my career as Village Clerk when I was appointed in September, 2006. I was elected for a two-year term in April, 2007, and elected in 2009 for a four-year term. At that time, I could not seek re-election due to term limits.
Cathy Edwards was elected Village Clerk in 2013. My dear friend Cathy passed away in 2015, and President Kit Ketchmark reached out to me and asked me to serve out the remainder of her term.
I have lived in Brookfield for 32 years, I have raised my family here and now that my daughters are grown I have the opportunity to give back to my community.
What is your understanding of the role of the village clerk and what do you feel is the most important aspect of that role?
As Village Clerk, I am seen, but usually not heard. I am the Official Keeper of all village records and I am the Local Election Official. In addition, I work closely with the Cook County Clerk’s office in all matters of election and voter outreach. I am the official keeper of the village seal.
I administer the official oath of office to all appointed positions within the village as well as appointing a Deputy Village Clerk who performs the duties of the Village Clerk in my absence.
To what extent should the clerk participate in the discussion of issues being considered by the village board?
The duties of the Village Clerk are set by state statute. I do not have voting power; my primary role is keeping the records of all village board discussions. I do not participate in setting policy; however, my signature is required on all village documents.
Are there any services the clerk’s office should offer that aren’t being offered now?
It has been my goal to update procedures to make the Clerk’s office more functional.
I have worked closely with Cook County Clerk David Orr to make Brookfield Village Hall an early voting site for the convenience of all suburban Cook County voters. I am available to assist residents with voter registration and polling place information. The Clerk’s office, offers notary services free of charge as well as mobile notary services for home bound residents by appointment.
We have improved access to the village code and ordinances by codification of the village code, which had not been accomplished since 1965. Currently, the code is now available in searchable format on the village website to make it easy for residents to access.
Presently, residents who care to hear the audio recording of the village board meetings can do so via the village website. All meeting agendas can be found there as well.
While the clerk’s position is not full time, my deputy clerk is available during business hours to assist residents in my absence.
What would be your priorities as village clerk and how would you accomplish meeting those goals?
In the future, I plan to work with village staff to make available minutes of all Village Board and Committee of the Whole meetings available on the village’s website. Currently, they are kept in electronic format in the village clerk’s office and are available to anyone by request. Putting the minutes on the website would make them available to everyone at any time.
Village staff and I plan to meet to discuss transferring paper records to electronic format to make them easier to access as well as providing the ability to create more space at the village hall to accommodate the retention policies of the ever-changing state and federal requirements for record retention. I have also been in contact with the Illinois State Archive Records Management Director to update and familiarize myself with the current and upcoming retention policies. As you know, in Illinois, no public record may be disposed of without the approval of the appropriate records commission.