South Bend Common Councilman Derek Dieter — who has served more than ten years on the council — is not running for re-election in the 2015 municipal elections.
Dieter, who is an at-large member of the council and a retired officer with the South Bend Police Department, will instead run for city clerk.
Current city clerk John Voorde — who himself was also a three-term member of the South Bend Common Council — is eying another run for Common Council.
In an interview with the South Bend Voice, Dieter called Voorde “a very good friend and mentor.”
Dieter — who is seeking the Democratic nomination for city clerk — says that he is not running for re-election to the city council since he has already achieved the goals that he set for himself. He says that he sees new opportunities with the city clerk position.
The city clerk is responsible for recordkeeping and maintaining the municipal code book. The city clerk and his or her staff attend all common council meetings and keep a journal of the events for the public.
“The clerk’s office is basically the keeper of the records,” Dieter explains.
Dieter has two main goals for the clerk’s office. He would first like to modernize the office with a better web presence. Dieter told us about a city clerk Facebook page that he would like to set up. He sees it as a good way for citizens to reach out to city government, particularly younger residents.
“The other thing that I will be doing is putting out our agendas and our information in Spanish,” Dieter says. “The Hispanic population has never been inclusive in everything that goes on around here. I want to make sure that that segment of the population is part of the process.”
As for whether he will be challenged in the race, Dieter says that he does not know. The newly announced clerk candidate says that he hopes to knock on 5,000 houses between his official announcement and the primary day in May 2015.