On Saturday, the Cordova Electoral Board met to review two protests regarding the April 9 municipal election.|
The Electoral Board consists of Sharon Peterson, village clerk, and Trustees Pat Fidlar and Larry Dhooge. Ms. Fidlar replaced original Electoral Board member Mayor Bob VanHooreweghe, who is ineligible to serve on the board because he is a candidate for mayor in the election.
At Saturday's hearing, James Boone, Citizen's Party candidate for mayor, told the board that he contacted Rock Island County authorities and they told him that Monday, Dec. 31, was a business day. The law states that any protests must be filed within five business days. The mayor filed both protests on Jan. 4, one day late.
Ms. Fidlar said the village attorney told her that the last office date for filing a protest was Jan. 3.
The protest filed by the mayor stated that Mr. Boone was in arrears on a municipal utility bill when he signed his candidacy statement. Based on the Illinois Municipal Handbook, Mr. Boone was ineligible to run for office if he owed the village money.
Mr. Boone told the board that he has a handwritten receipt in his possession dated Dec. 7 showing that he was not in arrears the date he signed the candidacy papers.
Mr. Dhooge moved to allow Mr. Boone on the ballot. He and Ms. Fidlar voted yes; Ms. Peterson abstained.
The second protest filed by the mayor claims that three People's Party candidates improperly filed their nomination papers on Dec. 10 instead of during the Dec. 17-26 period as required by law.
Ms. Fidlar pointed out that the incorrect party was listed on the protest. The Citizen's Party filed on Dec. 10, not the People's Party.
Ida Kerr, Citizen's Party caucus clerk, said she has been turning in her party's candidate's papers for 30 years, and, when she did so on Dec. 10, she was told by the village clerk that, because her party was the first to turn in its papers, its candidates would be first on the ballot.
Ms. Fidlar said, "I think there was a lot of misinformation presented by all parties."
Mr. Dhooge moved that everyone listed be allowed to run. The motion carried unanimously, and the meeting was adjourned.
Via a telephone conversation, Mayor VanHooreweghe said he was disappointed that his complaint against Mr. Boone was not properly addressed and that he has the right to take his complaint to the next level. "I haven't made a decision on that yet," he said.
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