By Bob Balgemann


For longtime resident Robbin Snodgrass, continuing her many years of public service would be capped by becoming the fifth village clerk in its 40-year history on Tuesday.

She is being opposed in her attempt by resident Kristine De Nolf.

The Post Journal asked the two candidates the same questions: (1) What prompted you to be a candidate for village clerk; and (2), why should voters select you.

Robbin Snodgrass 

1. “It has long been my desire to work at the village with the amazing staff that have been in place for many years. I enjoy helping my neighbors and friends in a community and having lived most of my life in the Parks, there would be no better place to serve. My time spent as a trustee for the village and Harlem Township gave me a look inside the duties and expectation of the role of clerk.

“With the recent vacancy in the position, my time with the previous positions in the community has shown me that this is the natural progression.

“It is also my desire to be an asset to the community in which I live. At a time in history when there are differing views on everything, it is important that we do what we can in our small community to make it a place that our children and grandchildren can grow and thrive. As my father before worked to establish the village of Machesney Park, I hope to continue service and support for those in the community.”

2. “The next village clerk will need to continue to improve communication between the office and the residents. I will provide timely updates to manuals and information that is needed. Having an open-door policy is also very important and I will establish office hours that make me available to all citizens. My goal is the be the first point of contact for anyone with questions, needing documents or any other important information, that open-door policy will assist in this goal.

“Having worked in education and with those in deep need, I will also be available to the community to help build programs or to update and build resources that help those in the community. Working with agencies, educational institutions and businesses that want to help our citizens with sponsorships, internships and general needs is a win-win for our community.

“I have seen the generosity of the community. I have built many deep relationships with the business community, the non-profit community and the educational community (so) I can be an advocate for the citizens of Machesney Park.

“My experiences over that past few decades have taught me the importance of the clerk’s position and the importance of a highly organized, helpful and community-minded person. I have the organizational skills, the general knowledge and the desire to be a clerk that always puts the citizens first. I enjoy helping to educate and explain reasons, processes and the bigger picture to those with questions. I am experienced with the latest technology and will work to establish best practices, which will help me to be instrumental in helping those that have a need within the community. I urge all citizens to please vote for me on, or before, April 6.”

More information 

In addition to responding to those two questions, candidate Snodgrass also provided some biographical information.

Over the last 20 years, she stated she worked with citizens of Machesney Park on issues relating to the growth, building and rebuilding of the community. She also worked with many Harlem Township residents by helping provide service to those in need through emergency assistance.

She spent nearly 20 years working for Rock Valley College with community groups, local and state government agencies and others bringing lectures, seminars and special events to the campus.

Currently, she is working at the Rockford Rescue Mission, assisting and bringing relief to those in despair from homelessness and addiction.

Kristine De Nolf 

1. “The most important role of the village clerk is maintaining all the village records and documents, and communicating with the community. I will continue to manage the records and documents for accuracy and guarantee that they are up to date. The people of the community will be ensured that they can always have access to the current public records. I plan on continuing my education to get certification and training to support my village departments, and keep our village running efficiently.”

2. “I have served our future adults in our community and surrounding ones as a teacher and principal. Educating our future adults in the at-risk environment program has given me such gratification and an experience that I have many positive memories to keep. I have been interested in serving my community more, so I decided to pursue the position of the village clerk. One of the challenges in education was having substantial communication between home and school and in between colleagues. Consistent and transparent communication will be my standard once I am in the clerk position. I will correspond with the people of my village and keep them aware of all village proceedings and growth of our community. I am a lifelong learner, a team player and have exceptional organizational skills. With all my skills and experience, I feel this career will be a genuine change for me and my community.”

More information

De Nolf is 52 years of age and has a bachelor of science degree in elementary education and a masters of science in teaching and leadership, and an administration of education certificate (Type 75). She is a former mathematics, language arts and English teacher and was a team leader at Harlem Middle School. In addition, she previously taught math and science at West Middle School and is a former director at Hononegah High School (regional night school program).

She has two sons, Ethan, 27, and Ashton, 23. She was born in Loves Park and lived there for 18 years. She has been a resident of Machesney Park for 30 years. 

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