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Clerk hopeful blasts Chico over office’s future

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

Just a week after city clerk candidate Susana Mendoza took mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel to task for “stealing” her idea for putting ads on city vehicle stickers to raise money, she is blasting mayoral candidate Gery Chico for suggesting closing the city clerk’s office.

“I’d like to use this instance of ill-informed political pandering, that devalues the public service of the approximately 100 hard working men and women of the city cClerk’s office, as a teachable moment for Mr. Chico,” Mendoza said.

Mendoza and current City Clerk Miguel del Valle, a rival of Chico’s for the mayor’s seat, both say the state Legislature created the city clerk as a separate office from the mayor’s office to provide a check and balance on the mayor’s office. The clerk’s office is responsible for keeping the records of the City Council. They say only the state Legislature could fold the office into the mayor’s office.

Chico said the city could do it solo and could save $7 million to $9 million by doing so.

Last week, when Emanuel held a news conference saying the city could raise money by putting ads on the back of city vehicle stickers sold by the clerk’s office, Mendoza sent out a “Hey, Rahm, that’s my idea” news release saying she had proposed the idea two weeks earlier to generate money to hire more police officers.

Some speculated that as an ally of Ald. Ed Burke, who supports Chico for mayor, Mendoza might have been shooting at Emanuel to help Chico’s campaign. But the harsh language she used in rebuking Chico Friday, she says, establishes her bona fides to be a “truly independent” voice as clerk.

“Gross and inaccurate generalizations, like Mr. Chico’s, serve no useful purpose in educating voters and demoralize the current employees in the clerk’s office,” Mendoza said.

Mendoza has served for 10 years as a state representative from the Southwest Side.

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