EDWARDSVILLE — The current chief tax assessor has been confirmed as the new county clerk in Madison County.
Madison County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan announced Monday he had chosen Debbie Ming Mendoza to replace Mark Von Nida as county clerk. Von Nida was elected as circuit clerk in November and has been sworn in to his new office.
The County Board unanimously confirmed Mendoza at a special meeting Monday night. She will fill the remaining two years of Von Nida's term.
Mendoza, 56, began as a deputy in the assessments office in 1973. She became chief deputy in 1985, and was promoted to chief county assessor in 1995. A graduate of Granite City High School, she serves as treasurer of the Illinois County Assessors Association and is past president of the metro-east chapter of International association of Assessing Officers."
"Debbie Mendoza has excelled at every position she has held in Madison County government," Dunstan said. "Debbie's background, operational experience and leadership qualities make her uniquely qualified to build upon the outstanding initiatives implemented by Mark Von Nida and the staff in the county clerk's office."
Mendoza said her father's time in public service impressed on her an interest in doing the same. The late Lou Whitsell was a former Madison County Board member and Nameoki Township supervisor.
"My dad always stressed the importance of public service, of working for the people to ensure their government is effective and not long handles the tasks it is obligated by the Constitution to provide, but services that help our citizens," Mendoza said.
Mendoza said she is excited about the opportunity and wants to continue "the outstanding work of Mark Von Nida and finding ways to keep voters energized and ensuring that every citizen has the opportunity to exercise their right and vote."
She also cited as inspirations three previous women who served as county clerk: Eulalia Hotz, state Sen. Evelyn Bowles and Debbie Saltich.
"I hope to continue the proud tradition they established of women serving the people of Madison County," she said.
Dunstan also pointed out that until Monday, the top county officials in Madison County were all male. With Amy Meyer sworn in Monday as county recorder and Mendoza nominated as county clerk, there will now be two female officials out of 10.
"That's a move in the right direction," Dunstan said.
With Mendoza stepping up to county clerk, there will be an opening for chief county assessor. Dunstan said county leaders will be making some evaluations to decide on the right candidate, and there is some testing involved to qualify for the position that he said would likely be open to anyone who might be interested.
Contact reporter Elizabeth Donald at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2501.