New hearing set for challenges to South Elgin board candidates
By Janelle Walker For The Courier-News January 7, 2013 6:00PM
Bill DiFulvio, South Elgin Village Board
Updated: February 9, 2013 6:18AM
SOUTH ELGIN — The booting of a candidate from the South Elgin board of trustees race in 2009 has much to do with why three people are seeing their candidacies challenged this year, said objector Gary Hyman.
Hyman, a former South Elgin trustee who was defeated in the 2005 elections by just 15 votes, joined resident Warren Redmond in objecting to the nomination packets presented by incumbents John Sweet and William “Bill” DiFulvio, as well as Village President Jim Hansen.
A preliminary hearing for those objections was held Monday evening at South Elgin Village Hall. A formal hearing has been set for Jan. 21 at the village hall.
In 2009, a Freedom of Information Act request made by Algonquin resident Mahlea Smith indicated that candidate Patrick Keane was three months behind in his water bill and owed the village $197.89. Based on that information, Trustees DiFulvio, Scott Richmond and Sweet — all of whom were up for re-election — objected to Keane’s candidacy.
Once Keane’s candidacy was ruled invalid, just three candidates were left on the ballot for the three open seats.
Hyman said following Monday’s preliminary hearing that the way Keane’s candidacy was handled did not sit well with him.
His objections to the Sweet, DiFulvio and Hansen’s nomination papers include that the pages were not duly numbered, in Sweet’s case; and that Hansen did not properly bind his election packet, using a paper clip to secure the pages.
In DiFulvio’s case, the objectors say he did not bind his nomination packet or number the two pages, that neither of the petition pages indicated the date of the election or the type of the election, and that some of the petition names are printed and not signatures, as well as some of the signors do not live within South Elgin.
He believes in following the rules, Hyman said following the preliminary ruling, and good government.
“Our elected officials, our incumbents, I would like to believe they know how to fill out the petitions in the right way,” Hyman said. Mistakes “leave error for questions and doubt in people’s minds,” he said.
“This is due process to make sure the people of South Elgin are being represented by good government,” he said.
By not numbering and binding the nomination packet pages together, he said, it leaves room for those papers to be tampered with an the opportunity for fraud.
“Like anything else, you would expect that your elected officials, your incumbents, would know how to fill out the paperwork. What is good for the goose is good for the gander,” Hyman said.
Hyman and Redmond also asked Margo Gray, the village clerk who is also up for re-election, to step down from the three-person election commission since they plan to call her as a witness at the Jan. 21 hearing.