For a second election cycle, incumbent members of the Crystal Lake City Council eliminated ballot competition.
The result is that Ellen Brady, Cathy Ferguson and Brett Hopkins will have no opposition on the ballot…unless challenger Robert S. Miller wins a court case.
Election law is convoluted.
The inability of Council challenger Robert S. Miller to file his required Statement of Economic Interest at the McHenry County Clerk’s Office because the office was closed as a result of a blizzard proved fatal to his effort to get on the April ballot, according to a panel of other elected Crystal Lake officials.
Miller’s wife Dianne explains what happened last night:
There were three issues on the table.
The first issue was the timely filing of Robert’s “Statement of Economic Interests” receipt.
Robert wasn’t able to obtain the receipt from McHenry County on the last day of filing, because of the blizzard.
Their offices were closed.
He was able to obtain it the day after the blizzard and the County Clerk backdated the form to be in compliance.
The County Clerk called the City to advise them of the problem.
The receipt was submitted to the City the morning after the last day of filing.
The attorney for Hopkins, Brady and Ferguson [David McArdle] argued that the law doesn’t allow for things such as bad weather.
Unfortunately the Election Board agreed and voted that Robert should not be allowed on the ballot.
The second issue was the specification of the office sought.
Robert wrote on his papers “City Council”.
The argument was that this wasn’t specific enough because the Mayor was a member of the City Council.
Mayor Shepley agreed with Robert that everyone in Crystal Lake understands the difference between City Council and Mayor and they voted in favor of Robert.
The third and last issue was the Election Date on Robert’s paperwork.
The Election Board found that the incorrect date was only on his Statement of Candidacy, not the signature papers, so voters signing the signature papers could not have been confused.
So the gang of three wins again.
It was noted at the meeting that there were document submission problems with the paperwork filed by the other candidates.
Had Robert known to obtain their paperwork, he would have made challenges and their names might have been removed from the ballot as well.
They are hypocrites.
I spoke at the end of the hearing and chastised them saying they are abusing the process just to keep qualified candidates off the ballot.
That way they don’t have to run a campaign, spend any money or debate the issues that are important to the citizens of Crystal Lake.
My closing line was, “Shame on each and every one of you!”
Robert is reviewing all of his options and will make a decision in the next few days.