3 more can­di­dates for trus­tee tossed from Or­land Park bal­lot; ap­peal in store

Daily Southtown - - FRONT PAGE - By Mike Nolan

The Or­land Park bal­lot for April’s elec­tion has, at least for now, been whit­tled to three can­di­dates af­ter an elec­toral board’s de­ci­sion Thurs­day to re­move three other can­di­dates.

Chal­lenges to the nom­i­nat­ing pe­ti­tions of Wil­liam Healy, Cyn­thia Nel­son Kat­senes and Michael Mi­lani, run­ning on the Peo­ple Over Pol­i­tics ticket, al­leged the can­di­dates didn’t clearly spec­ify the po­si­tion they were seek­ing. The elec­toral board up­held the ob­jec­tion, which has the ef­fect of knock­ing the three off the April 2 bal­lot.

An at­tor­ney for the can­di­dates who were re­moved, John Fog­a­rty Jr., said af­ter the vote he planned to file an ap­peal in Cook County Cir­cuit Court by Tues­day.

“We think that an in­cor­rect de­ci­sion was made (Thurs­day),” he said.

Burt Odel­son, an at­tor­ney rep­re­sent­ing the ob­jec­tor, Chris Kas­mer, ar­gued be­fore the panel that vot­ers who signed the pe­ti­tions could have been con­fused about what of­fice the three were seek­ing, not­ing that there also will be elec­tions in April for trus­tee po­si­tions on the pub­lic li­brary board and the Or­land Fire Pro­tec­tion District board.

“What trus­tee do these folks want to be?” he said.

Fog­a­rty said the voter con­fu­sion is­sue was a “man­u­fac­tured ar­gu­ment,” and that there was “only one of­fice the can­di­dates’ pe­ti­tions could re­fer to,” be­ing for vil­lage trus­tee. He said that he had af­fi­davits from “scores” of vot­ers who signed the can­di­dates’ pe­ti­tions stat­ing they were not con­fused as to what of­fice the can­di­dates were seek­ing.

But the two-mem­ber elec­toral board thought oth­er­wise.

In find­ing there was a “ba­sis for con­fu­sion for the vot­ers sign­ing the nom­i­nat­ing pe­ti­tions,” board mem­bers Kathy Fen­ton, se­nior vil­lage trus­tee, and John Me­halek, vil­lage clerk, said other doc­u­ments the can­di­dates filed, such as state­ment of can­di­dacy, clearly iden­ti­fied the of­fice be­ing sought.

Me­halek, how­ever, pointed out the “pe­ti­tion is the only doc­u­ment the voter sees,” and that voter con­fu­sion about what of­fice was be­ing sought was “more likely prob­a­ble.” Fen­ton agreed,

de­scrib­ing as “very con­fus­ing” what the three were run­ning four.

Mayor Keith Pekau had been part of the elec­toral board but said he was step­ping down due to a po­ten­tial con­flict of in­ter­est. He is sup­port­ing the Peo­ple Over Pol­i­tics can­di­dates.

Trus­tee James Dodge had been sched­uled to take Pekau’s place on the panel, but Dodge was un­able to at­tend be­cause of an­other com­mit­ment.

At an elec­toral board hear­ing last week, Pekau, Fen­ton and Me­halek had up­held an ob­jec­tion, also filed by Kas­mer, to the nom­i­nat­ing pe­ti­tions of an­other trus­tee can­di­date, Mo­hanned El Na­tour. He was re­moved from the bal­lot due to an in­suf­fi­cient num­ber of sig­na­tures.

Pend­ing the out­come of an ap­peal by the Peo­ple Over Pol­i­tics can­di­dates, in­cum­bent Trus­tee Ca­role Grif­fin Ruzich, along with Devin Hodge and Kelly O’Brien, would be listed as the three can­di­dates run­ning for three four-year terms on the Vil­lage Board.

The three, cam­paign­ing to­gether on the Or­land In­tegrity Party ticket, is­sued a state­ment fol­low­ing the elec­toral board’s rul­ing Thurs­day, say­ing the panel had made the right de­ci­sion in up­hold­ing the ob­jec­tions.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.