NORMAL — Legal counsel for the Town of Normal has determined the three candidates who petitioned for offices that are not up for election will not be listed on the ballot in the April municipal election.
But an electoral board still plans to meet this week to consider objections filed against the candidates.
According to a statement from the town issued Wednesday, Michael Kasper of Chicago was hired as outside counsel to review the petitions for legal conformity.
He determined the three petitions for candidates seeking to run for town clerk, town supervisor and town collector who are “non-conforming” with the town’s municipal code.
Kasper sent letters to Amy Conklin, Charles Sila and Robert Shoraga — the three residents who filed the non-conforming petitions — on Dec. 2 that state, “As a result of this lack of apparent conformity with legal requirements, the Town cannot certify your name” on the ballot for each office.
Kasper said he determined the petitioners’ names would not appear on the ballot in April.
However, an electoral board will meet Friday to consider two objections filed against the candidates.
The objections, filed by Normal residents Jeffrey Fritzen and Patrick Dullard, argue the municipal code does not provide for these three offices to be elected and the town is not required by state law to have those positions as elected offices.
Uncertainty continues over 3 Normal positions not on ballot
Objections will be heard at 11 am Dec. 9 in the council chambers.
The electoral board typically comprises the mayor, Chris Koos; town clerk, Angie Huonker; and the longest serving council member, Kevin McCarthy. Because the clerk’s position is in question, council Trustee Scott Preston will serve in Huonker’s place.
Town officials did not clarify whether Kasper’s determination will guide the electoral board’s decision and what, if any, effect the board’s decision will have on the ballot.
Town Communication Director Cathy Oloffson said the electoral board must meet as per election code since the objections were filed.
The candidate petitions appear to come in response to a legal dispute earlier this year about how to classify Normal’s form of government.
A residents’ group, Citizens for a Better Normal, sought to place a referendum on the Nov. 8 ballot calling for a change from an at-large council to a ward-style system. The Normal election board rejected the referendum, saying the state law allows such measures in villages but not towns, and a McLean County judge agreed that the community operates as an incorporated town.
Supporters of the referendum maintained that if Normal is legally a town and not a village, then it must elect the three absent positions.
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Contact Kelsey Watznauer at (309) 820-3254. Follow her on Twitter: @kwatznauer.