Madison County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan said today that he will appoint an interim Circuit Clerk later this month.

"I will make the appointment at the board's regularly scheduled meeting," Dunstan said. "I can say there were three people I talked to and am seriously considering two."

The board's next meeting will be on June 20. Dunstan said he will make his final decision before then and notify county board members by the Monday or Tuesday preceding the meeting, which will take place exactly two weeks from today. The full board must approve Dunstan's appointment for it to take effect.

The position has been vacant since longtime Clerk Matt Melucci died May 10 following a battle with lung cancer. Melucci, 68, served in the post for about 20 years, but announced last fall he would retire when his term expired in December.

Democrat Mark von Nida, who has been the County Clerk since 1997, and Republican John Barberis Jr., a St. Jacob attorney who focuses his practice on business, family, personal injury and traffic matters, are vying for the seat in the November election.

Neither von Nida nor Barberis will be the interim circuit clerk, Dunstan said. Although he wouldn't provide any further details on the two people he is considering for the appointment, the county chairman said the interim clerk will be a Democrat based on Melucci's political affiliation.

In addition to his position as Circuit Clerk, Melucci served as chairman of the county's Democratic Party. Collinsville resident Jim Stack, who works for the Illinois Department of Transportation, took over the chairman duties after Melucci's death.

Under county board rules, Dunstan has 60 days to make the appointment. He said last month that he did not expect it would take that long to come to a decision. He also said in May that he would seek input from Chief Judge Ann Callis and Deputy Clerk Judy Nelson.

He said today he has conducted a few interviews for the position over the past month and recently narrowed the pool of candidates down to two. He also said he's been in contact with the county's judges and the process "has been running real smooth."

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