Rock Falls council appoints new city clerk

Pam Martinez

ROCK FALLS – After a little back-and-forth, it’s official: Pam Martinez, 52, is the new city clerk.

Martinez, of Rock Falls, an outreach coordinator for state Sen. Tony McCombie, R-Savanna, and formerly a programs coordinator with Whiteside County United Way, was appointed to the part-time post at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

She will serve until 2024, when the position formerly held by the late Eric Arduini comes up for election. She also will keep her job with McCombie, she said Wednesday.

Martinez will work about 5 hours a week, keeping the minutes of council and committee meetings only. She will be paid $300 a month, said Michele Conklin, Business Office superintendent.

She’s had her eye on the job for some time. She ran for the clerkship in 2012, and lost. When he decided to fill Arduini’s empty seat, former Mayor Bill Wescott approached her, Martinez, said.

So now it’s actually her second appointment to the position, which has changed since Arudini’s death on April 5, 2019. At the time, most of his duties were given to Conklin, who was then deputy clerk.

For accountability purposes – because the city clerk is elected and has no oversight – that arrangement was made permanent, and Conklin’s title changed to Business Office superintendent.

When no one ran for the city clerk job in April’s municipal election, Wescott asked council members to appoint Martinez to the 4-year term, which they did.

At the time, though, there still were 2 weeks left in Arduini’s term.

Incoming Mayor Rod Kleckler argued that Wescott could not fill the four-year term, only the two-week term; his argument was backed by the city attorney and Martinez agreed to fill the remaining two weeks.

Kleckler then presented his own city clerk candidate, whom the council rejected, three times, he said Wednesday.

The city advertised the position, Martinez and a few other people applied, she was the most qualified and so was appointed again at Tuesday’s meeting, Kleckler said.

Kathleen Schultz

Kathleen A. Schultz

Kathleen Schultz is a Sterling native with 40 years of reporting and editing experience in Arizona, California, Montana and Illinois.