Mendoza to become first female city clerk

February 23, 2011 5:25:42 AM PST
The city clerk's office has a new leader. Susana Mendoza is the first woman to head the office, beating Water Reclamation District Commissioner Patricia Horton with 59 percent of the vote.

Mendoza, a state representative, said Wednesday morning she was still on a high from her victory and thanked Chicagoans for their support.

The city clerk's office keeps track of what happens in city government, including ordinances, and can disseminate that information to residents. The clerk's office also distributes parking stickers and issues business licenses.

Mendoza will take over for Miguel del Valle, who had to give up the post to run for mayor. Mendoza said she plans to continue to modernize the office.

"Anyone who knows me knows that I'm very into technology and making the best use of that," Mendoza said. "Obviously, we want a system in place web-wise that is very user friendly, the most tech-savvy system in the country, not just in Chicago. We want to make sure that the office does more for people."

Mendoza said she has served in Springfield for the past ten years and will use her new position to improve as an advocate for people. She said the city clerk's office was created by the legislature to be independent and provide a check and balance to the wards in government, and she said she plans to strengthen that check-and-balance system.

"It hasn't been that way in over 20 years, at least. I decided to run in this race without seeking the financial or volunteer support of any of the mayoral candidates, so today, the day after the election, I can look voters in the eye and say, 'I got there because of you. I'm accountable to you. I will be independent from the mayor's office,'" Mendoza said.

Mendoza plans to finish her term in Springfield in May and return to run the clerk's office then.

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