Crystal Lake Incumbents Eliminate Competition

There won’t be a ballot contest for the offices of Mayor and City Council in Crystal Lake.

The only people on the ballot will be the incumbents running for re-election.

The first Electoral Board decided to knock Mayor Aaron Shepley’s opponent, accountant and property manager Sascha Chadwick, off the ballot for not having numbered his four pages of petition signatures.

Mayor Aaron Shepley filed an objection to fellow mayoral candidate Sascha Chadwick's petitions.  Former Mayor Bob Wagner (center) represented Chadwick.

Mayor Aaron Shepley filed an objection to fellow mayoral candidate Sascha Chadwick’s petitions. Former Mayor Bob Wagner (center) represented Chadwick.

Mayor Aaron Shepley filed the objection to his opponent’s petitions.

Chadwick’s attorney, former Mayor Bob Wagner, pointed out that Crystal Lake had not disqualified candidates before.

He said previous councils had not “nit-picked people off the ballot.”

“I don’t remember anyone ever getting kicked off the ballot…Crystal Lake’s philosophy was to encourage people in the process.”

The Electoral Bd for mayoral candidate Sascha Chadwick.

The Electoral Board for mayoral candidate Sascha Chadwick.

Regardless, the first Electoral Board, consisting of Councilmen Brett Hopkins and Ralph Dawson, plus City Clerk Nick Kachiroubas, voted unanimously to reject Chadwick’s petitions.

Jim Tomasello criticizes the Electoral Board's decision to kick Sascha Chadwick off the April ballot.

Jim Tomasello criticizes the Electoral Board’s decision to kick Sascha Chadwick off the April ballot.

Chadwick supporter and former City Council candidate Jim Tomasello spoke to the Board after its decision.

“It sickens me that the current Mayor is trying to deny people a choice.”

He praised his opponents for City Council:  “At least they were man enough not to challenge my petitions.”

Address the Chairman of the first Electoral Board Brett Hopkins, Tomasello said, “You told me that this process would week out the people [not qualified] for this job.

“Sascha is more than qualified to be Mayor.”

Chadwick’s comment after the decision:  “There’s still more opportunity.”

The objectors to CL Electoral Bd objectors to Jeremy Krick's petitions were the three members of City Council up for re-election.

The objectors to CL Electoral Bd objectors to Jeremy Krick’s petitions were the three members of City Council up for re-election.  From left to right are attorney David McArdle and Council members Ellen Brady Mueller, Brett Hopkins and Cathy Ferguson.

In the second challenge the three members of the City Council up for re-election, Cathy Ferguson, Brett Hopkins and Ellen Brady Mueller challenged the petitions of their only opponent, Jeremy Krick.

Krick was away on business, according to Board attorney Joe Perkoski.  Perkoski did report that when his office contacted the challenger on Monday and Wednesday, he verbally requested a continuance because he was out of town on business.  Krick did not hire an attorney.

The Crystal Lake Electoral Board for CL Electorl Bd for Jeremy Krick.

The Crystal Lake Electoral Board for CL Electorl Bd for Jeremy Krick.

The second Board, comprises of Mayor Aaron Shepley, Councilman Ralph Dawson and City Clerk Nick Kachiroubas, denied the request for a continuance.

The Electoral Board found that Krick’s failure to number the pages of his petition and his failure to attach the receipt from the Statement of Economic Interest he filed with the County Clerk’s Office were adequate reasons to kick him off the ballot.

He also had one too few valid signatures on his petition.  In addition, he used a paper clip, instead of stapling his petition package together when he submitted it.

= = = = =

Petition Tips

Filing for all villages, school boards, park districts, fire protection districts, library districts, etc., starts next Monday and continues for a week.

The lessons candidates should learn from this are

  1. File with the County Clerk a Statement of Economic Interest (known by politicians as the “None, None, None” form). Staple the receipt you receive to your petition package.
  2. Make sure you number the pages of your petition.
  3. Make sure you get twice as many petition signatures as you need.  (While Crystal Lake Council candidate Jeremy Krick was not thrown off the ballot because two of his sixteen signatures were from people living outside of Crystal Lake, that would have been a good enough reason to do so. Losing those two signatures put him under the required minimum number of fifteen.)
  4. Make sure you sign the bottom of your petitions or have your supporters sign the bottom of their petitions in front of a notary public and that those notarizing the signatures both sign and affix their stamps to the form’s bottom.
  5. Staple all of your paperwork together. Do not use a paper clip.
  6. The Loyalty Oath is not required. The law that provided for it has been held unconstitutional.


Crystal Lake Incumbents Eliminate Competition — 19 Comments

  1. Illinois has some of the worst laws in the nation to allow candidates to get kicked off the ballot.

    The laws need a re-write.

    Talk to your State legislators.

    Of course the power brokers don’t want the system changed, or they would have already changed it.

    Ditto the laws that redraw legislative districts every 10 years.

  2. Wow.

    Such tactics may be technically legal, but the way they are applied by the same incumbents that would face these challengers suggests a possible conflict of interest at the very least, and screams petty insecurity at the most.

    Note to the participants…Not your proudest moment.

  3. Time to Cut the FAT of the council and our boards.

    We don’t need all these people!

    There is only “1” person sitting on OUR council that deserves to be there as he truly cares about the interests of our citizens, he alone was the only one who voted against an unnecessary sales tax hike while all the other puppets bobbed there heads Yes without hesitation.

    This is only some of the wastefulness of our tax $$ they have imposed on us this has to stop! least we forget as well the wastefulness of suing our own entity again spending our tax $$.

    Enough is Enough, move someplace else and waste someone else’s $$ on your Special interests.

    We have all had it, way to much glad handing, i.e. the good ol boy network days are over!

    Its hard times now!

  4. The rules aren’t that hard to follow.

    It looks like there’s a business opportunity to offer a “Challenge-proof your petitions” service to newcomer candidates.

    Cal laid out the lessons learned very clearly in the article.

    I don’t blame the incumbents for making the challenges.

    Attention newcomer candidates!

    Please heed the six guidelines Cal provided.

    They are easy to follow.

    It’s like taking a test — you might know all the material backward and forward, but if you don’t properly fill out the answer sheet, you still fail.

    Don’t let this discourage you from running.

  5. This speaks to the complete lack of professionalism and responsibility we have become accustomed to in this small community!

    Both the current mayor and the electoral board should be embarrassed by their actions.

    I would suspect if one was to look into the case law quoted in the challenge, you would probably find the petitions were of significant size, making “page numbering” meaningful, not the four pages of this petition!

    This should spark community action to fully back people like Mr. Chadwick that want to step up and help this community move forward without bias.

  6. The idea that you would turn in petitions with 16 signatures when you need 15 is mind boggling.

    Look at petition drives as a way to gather support, if you are not willing to put int he effort to get on the ballot, why run?

    Following the rules is not petty nitpicking.

    I prefer detail oriented people in my positions of authority.

  7. Lets just pray our rights have not been taken away to choose our Write In Choices on the ballot.

  8. I smell FEAR = Nit-picking

    At least we still have Write in options… we can hope that our choice / rights will not be taken away come election day!…

  9. “ATTY” Bob Wagoner ……McHenry Co,’s Master Pettifogger …… even skinks like Franks can learn from him!

  10. To say “Never vote for an incumbent” is just foolish and irresponsible.

    Those are the words of the uninformed, unengaged…

    If you are in tune with your government, then you know which elected officials are of integrity and truly serve the community and those who are not… why would you vote out an upstanding, honest, responsible incumbent?

    I agree with Chris Jenner when he says the rules for submitting your petitions are simple and I do feel that a prospective candidates who only gets the exact required amount of signatures required may be lacking in enthusiasm for his or her desired office…

    That being said, any elected official that would even mention the paper clip vs staple, or missing numbers on 4 pages, speaks VOLUMES of his or her character in those actions alone…

    I don’t live in Crystal Lake and I do not know a lot about this Major “Shleppy” but, based on this, I will be willing to support any candidate running against him in the future with my time and money!

    What Crystal Lake needs are a few more Jeff Thorsens!

  11. I *used* to think well of Mr. Shepley but, wow, what a sad, pathetic move leverage sad, pathetic requirements.

    It’s like a grad student submitting a quality thesis but failing because he used a binder clip.

    Even the IRS is more forgiving than this.

    Nick, I thought you of all people understood the concept of grace.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *