I hope that everyone had a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year. I hope you all enjoyed the Christmas lights. According to Orland Park’s retailers, the shopping season was outstanding.
I missed the last board meeting due to a family emergency, but very little happened at that meeting.
Today, I had a new experience as Mayor – chairman of the Local Electoral Board. This board hears objections to ballot petitions and submittals and consists of the Mayor, the Clerk, and the most senior trustee (in this case Trustee Fenton).
There were three cases today, two of which were basically the same complaint. I will discuss those two first. One of those two objectors had a family emergency so we continued that to next week. The other objector had objections based on the number of signatures and also the election that was put on the top of the form against an individual who petitioned to be on the ballot for Trustee in April. He only submitted 202 signatures and 645 were required. As much as I encourage ballot access this was a simple matter of law and not a technicality. As I stated at the hearing, I would not have removed him from the ballot over the wrong election, but I did vote to remove him for the lack of signatures. Allowing someone without enough signatures would disenfranchise those that collected enough signatures and would set a precedent for allowing others on the ballot regardless of whether they met the required threshold. Clerk Mehalek and Trustee Fenton also voted to remove this individual from the ballot.
The other case, brought by the same objector that we heard in the above case, objected to the People Over Politics petitions. We set a continuance date to January 10th because I recused myself. I did so, because I helped with the petitions for People Over Politics. Given my involvement, it would be inappropriate for me to hear the case. I also will not share my opinion on this case until after the Electoral Board hears the case. As the law requires, Trustee Dodge will take my place.
It was an interesting process and it was informative to see who was in the audience. The audience included, the objector, all of the candidates contesting the objections, the chairman of People over Politics and their respective attorneys as you would expect. Also, present were Trustee Ruzich and two union officials, who were also supporting the objector. Apparently, the unions are very interested in seeing that the People Over Politics Party gets knocked off the ballot. One person who gathered signatures for People over Politics was also present. Lastly, reporters from the Daily Southtown and Orland Park Prairie were present.
Our first board meeting of the year is next Monday. I encourage those of you who have not attended a meeting to do so at 7PM at the Village Hall.
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