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Yikes! Rules change midstream? February 18, 2009

Posted by Janet Hughes in People reaching the stars.
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6 comments

photo-sample-ballot-and-woman3Add this saga to the puzzling parables of Illinois politics:  Lemont school officials can’t count! Four (4) full-term open seats for the April 7, 2009 election is wrong. It should be three!

Candidates received a letter on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 stating the ballot information submitted by Lemont-Bromberek CSD 113A is incorrect. The ballot should read three (3) full-term open seats and one (1) two-year unexpired term.

Eight candidates will now seek three (3) open seats. The remaining two-year term will have no candidate. The school board then gets to appoint the fourth new board member. What do you think of this news?

Here’s the public notice posted on the Lemont-Bromberek CSD 113A website in October 2008: Four seats on the seven-member board of education will be filled at the April 7, 2009 election. Candidates elected will serve four-year terms expiring in April, 2013.

Here is the superintendent’s “candidates letter” given with the petitions in October 2008.

We’re surprised this oversight was missed and shocked the school board and administration did not follow the law. Failure to post the two-year unexpired open seat was wrong and changes the dynamics of this election.

Here is the letter Janet Hughes, Tim Goodwin, Karen Siston, and Al Malley received on Tuesday, February 17, 2009. Notice the letter was dated 2/13/09 and sent by President John Wood. It also was printed on Board of Education stationary and the envelope had a metered postmark of Saturday, 2/14/09.

School officials were aware of the error on 2/10/09 but did not inform us and the public at the school board meeting on 2/11/09. See meeting agenda Official School Board Ballot Update here.

Vote for change.

UPDATE: Judge’s ruling favors newcomers! Read story here…

February 13, 2009

Dear Board of Education Candidates:

On Tuesday, February 10, 2009 a representative from the Election Commission from DuPage County informed Sandie Larek that the ballot information submitted was not correct. The ballot submitted included all 8 names for four (4) four year full term positions. The Election Commission indicated the ballot should be three (3) four year term openings and one (1) two year unexpired term opening. This was a result of the 2007 election with four (4) year full term openings and only three candidates elected. The Board of Education appointed Mr. Kevin Doherty in June of 2007 to fill the unexpired term until the next election which is April, 2009. Mrs. Larek then contacted the Cook County Clerk’s Office to verify what DuPage County had indicated and the same was true for Cook County.

Both offices suggested that she call the school’s attorney to see how this situation should be handled. Mr. Mike Duggan, from Klein, Thorpe and Jenkins, instructed Sandie that the ballots must reflect the three (3) four year full term openings and the one (1) two year unexpired term opening. Sandie shared with him that 7 of the eight candidates filed their petitions for the 4 year full term openings and one candidate filed his ballot but kept the term determination on the petition empty. Mr. Duggan indicated to Mrs. Larek that any candidate is responsible for determining and stating which open seat they are filing for on their petitions. After the candidate’s petitions are filed and recorded with the proper authority prior to the published due date (January 26, 2009) they cannot be altered. He also stated that the election official for the school district is not responsible for verifying the accuracy of the petition. That too is the candidate’s responsibility according to election law.

Both county ballots have been verified as accurate and when they are printed for the election they will list all 8 candidates running for three (3) 4 year full term openings and no candidates for the one (1) two year unexpired term opening. Additionally, since the time frame for write in candidates has passed (deadline 2/5/09) no write in candidates will be considered on this ballot for either the four year full term positions or the two year unexpired opening.

I believe that this information is important and, being the Board president, I felt it was my responsibility to inform you so that you can take whatever action you feel necessary. The District has responded to each county appropriately and has been informed that candidate questions or inquiries regarding this matter should be directed to the Cook County Clerk’s office (Colleen Gleason 312/603-1127) or the DuPage County Election Commission (Chuck Hines 630/407-5624).

Thank you for running for our Board of Education and wanting to serve our community.

Respectfully,

John Wood, President
Lemont Bromberek CSD 113A
Board of Education

cc: Board of Education

Read official letter here.

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