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 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.”
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.
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.”
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 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.
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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
- 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.
- Make sure you number the pages of your petition.
- 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.)
- 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.
- Staple all of your paperwork together. Do not use a paper clip.
- The Loyalty Oath is not required. The law that provided for it has been held unconstitutional.