In Darien, the City Clerk is an elected position. The Clerk is elected at the same time as the Mayor and Treasurer, and serves a four-year term. The qualifications for the office of City Clerk are the same as for Mayor.
Katherine S. Janega, Attorney for the Municipal Clerks of Illinois and the City of Darien, writes the office of the municipal clerk is a many faceted one. Although municipal clerks derive primary duties from the state statutes, they also perform other duties that have been established either by municipal ordinances or by the municipality's own custom or practices. Because of this, it often seems that there are as many different duties for municipal clerks as there are municipalities in the State of Illinois making it virtually impossible to provide an exhaustive list of all duties of every municipal clerk.
The fundamental duties of the City Clerk are as follows:
- The City Clerk is required to attend all meetings of the corporate authority and keep a full journal of its proceedings.
- The City Clerk must keep a separate book of ordinances enacted by the municipality together with a record of the date of enactment and of publication. The certified copy of this record of the ordinance and proceedings in connection therewith is prima facie evidence of the contents, passage and publication of the ordinance.
- The City Clerk is responsible for issuing all notices under the Open Meetings Act, including the annual notice and notices of special meetings.
- The City Clerk is the custodian of the corporate seal and of all papers or documents belonging to the municipality.
- State statute provides unless a comptroller is elected or appointed, the municipal clerk has general supervisory authority over all officers of the municipality charged in any manner with the receipt, collection or disbursement of municipal revenue, or with the collection and return of municipal revenue into the treasury.
- State statute further provides, if there is no comptroller, all warrants drawn upon the municipal treasury and signed by the Mayor or Treasurer must be countersigned by the Clerk.
- The Freedom of Information Act is administered by the City Clerk as is the Local Records Act, which provides for the preservation and destruction of public records.
- Based upon population, the City Clerk may appoint a deputy clerk or clerks to act in his or her absence.
- The City Clerk is responsible for filing a certified copy of the tax levy ordinance, copies of annexation or disconnection ordinances, copies of subdivision plats and other documents with the county clerk and county recorder. In addition, it is the Clerk who is generally responsible for all reports, filings, notices and publications made on behalf of the municipality.
- The City Clerk also prepares a certification of the authenticity of the annual report and further attests that it was published or posted as required by state statute. The Clerk's affidavit is to be filed by the treasurer with the county collector of taxes along with the copy of the annual account.
- The City Clerk is the local election official.
- The City Clerk is the official recipient of notices pertaining to litigation. When a police officer is sued, in order to trigger the indemnification provisions of the Municipal Code, he must provide the Clerk with written notice of the suit within 10 days of notice. When the municipality is sued, service must be made either on the Mayor or the Municipal Clerk.
Either the municipal code, custom or practice provides the municipal clerk:
- Administers the Business License, Amusement Tax, Solicitor and Raffle Ordinances.
- Maintains status of letters of credit and on behalf of the municipality and authorizes reduction thereof.
- Administers the Liquor License Ordinance.
- Administers the Ethics Ordinance.
- Prepares City Council Agenda and Packets.
- Receives on behalf of the City, all necessary documents for annexation, subdivision and rezoning and respective fees to insure proper recording with DuPage County.
- Maintains list of tax exempt property.
- Maintains the City Calendar.