Clerk Rodney Greene came to the City in 2008, appointed by Mayor Lorraine Morton, to replace a resigning Mary Morris. It was not necessarily a logical career progression for Mr. Greene, but one that stuck. Mr. Greene told the RoundTable he plans to run again, and may “try to be like Lorraine Morton, the longest-running clerk” in Evanston’s history.
Prior to becoming Clerk, Mr. Greene worked at the Chicago campus of Northwestern University, training aspiring doctors and post-docs in Northwestern Hospital’s heart transplant facility. He helped also work with laser treatment, an alternative to transplant therapy – lasers punch small holes into heart tissue, and when blood vessels regrow sometimes the problem is solved.
Mr. Greene spent 20 years at Northwestern and, he said, “I got tired of it,” he said. He won more awards and recognition than anyone else on any of the Northwestern campuses, he said. At Mr. Greene’s retirement party, Northwestern Vice President Eugene Sunshine said, “Now someone else has a chance to win some of these awards.”
Mr. Greene said he views the Clerk’s office as a resource for the community as a whole, and any services he can offer to make residents, lives easier or more convenient he will consider.
As an example, he and the two assistant clerks took the examinations necessary to become passport officers, and the Clerk’s office now prepares passport applications on a walk-in basis. Residents can just drop in, with passport photos in hand, any time the Clerk’s office is open.
“You don’t have to make an appointment,” said Clerk Greene. Since announcing the program about three weeks ago, the Clerk’s office has processed 60 or 70 passport applications.
Because he is an ordained minister, Mr. Greene can legally marry people in Evanston, and he has asked City Council about offering his services to residents by allowing weddings in the Parasol Room of the Civic Center. So far, though, City Council has not agreed to do so.
Mr. Greene says the Clerk’s office stays on top of trends and developments by his attending clerks’ conferences all across the nation, and sometimes even internationally. He said he has met clerks from Africa and Great Britain and other places. Clerk Greene said he also serves as a mentor for the Des Plaines city clerk and others.
Clerk Greene will be on the ballot in the spring. “I’m definitely running again,” he said, though he said he expects competition.