December 2012
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  • Of course the Chronicle is done: Without Sandberg to give stores to the Chronicle there is no Chronicle.

Sandberg to appeal ruling (UPDATED)

Just minutes before Peoria’s Board of Election Commissioners voted to remove Gary Sandberg’s name from the first district ballot, Sandberg told the Peoria Chronicle, “If I am disallowed I will appeal to circuit court.”

Published reports so far have not detailed which part of the municipal code was cited by the Election Commission in making their decision. The Journal Star, for instance, just says, “Commissioners cited municipal code that states a candidate has to live for one year in the district in which he or she runs for office.”

Updates will be made to this post as more information becomes available.

UPDATE (12/18/2012): Despite having asked for a copy of the ruling a week ago, the Election Commission would not release it. However, I was able to get a copy from Sandberg. Incidentally, Sandberg asked for it to be emailed to him and signed a document to that effect with the Election Commission, but they wouldn’t email him a copy. They sent it regular mail. It’s unclear why the commission chose this tactic of deliberate and unnecessary delays in releasing public information that was already announced at a public meeting a week ago. I guess just to show us peasants who the lord of the fiefdom is.

The analysis I provided in a previous post was basically correct, except that I missed one thing. You’ll recall that I was unsure how 65 ILCS 5/3.1-10-5(c) would be interpreted, since it used the terminology of “alderman” and “ward,” and our form of government is council-manager which uses the terms “councilman” and “district.” The answer is found in 65 ILCS 5/1-1-2(8), which states: “Wherever the words ‘city council,’ ‘aldermen,’ ‘commissioners,’ or ‘mayor’ occur, the provisions containing these words shall apply to the board of trustees, trustees, and president, respectively of villages and incorporated towns and councilmen in cities, so far as those provisions are applicable to them.” Based on that, the election commission determined that the one-year residency requirement for aldermen also applies to councilmen.

So far, Sandberg has not filed an appeal to the Circuit Court.

12 comments to Sandberg to appeal ruling (UPDATED)

  • GOPer

    Question for you CJ – How much time if any do you think the law requires for a council candidate to reside in a certain district before they can file for the district seat?

  • GOPer– I have no idea how long the law requires. All I can say is, I made a good-faith effort to try to find the residency requirement as a layman looking at the 2013 Candidates Guide and the Illinois Compiled Statutes, and I was unable to find any requirement that a candidate live in the district for a year to be eligible. I did find provisions that said you have to reside in the district, but there was no time limit. At best, if they wanted to use the voting registration requirement to establish a residency time limit, that would be 30 days.

    Evidently, based on the commission’s decision, there IS a requirement somewhere that a candidate live in the district for a year before filing to run, but I’ll be darned if I can find it. I’d like to know where it is.

    My concern is this: If this seemingly undocumented requirement exists, what other potentially undocumented requirements are there? It would be helpful to know so the next time I run I can boot everyone else off the ballot. 🙂

  • Jim

    Now would be a good time for Gary to now out. With Patti Smith and Adler out in the 5th, there would be no reason for a primary.

  • I knew this and sited the very section the Board used to make their unanimous decision. I stood by that very simple statement despite Sandberg’s hateful cross examination of me for almost 10 minutes. There is more happening with this than is known. Let him appeal….He doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

  • soothsayer

    I did my own reading of the code and found nothing that said a year residency requirement applied to Council-Manager municipalities. PJS quoted a commissioner who said that Peoria was a “hybrid?” Since when? Does this mean that the Election Commission gets to make up the rules if they don’t like the candidate? If so, maybe the Mayor and commission will find a way to knock Emtronics off the ballot next. This stinks and I hope it gets overruled in court. If Mrs. Moore and Emtronics want to win, then maybe they should do it the old-fashioned way – by running a campaign.

  • Jim

    soothsayer – The Peoria system has always been a hybrid. If I recall correctly, our system is the only system like it in the entire state of Illinois.

    Gary was doing something sneaky here, and he got called out on it. I am sure this will hurt him more than help him down the road.

  • soothsayer, we ARE running a campaign. Jim is right. Something else was going on and that is what you should be worried about. How a few, maybe in a back room, can twist and play with elections. Anyone could have run for the 1st that legally lived in the first and I would have welcomed it. The more the merrier but to ride in on your horse and say you are going to save the poor people of the 1st when you never lived in the 1st is wrong. You know what? If there is $8.5 million laying in an unused TIF account that abuts the warehouse district and you buy a warehouse while sitting on the council and then want to represent that district, something smells. Gary can do all the representing he wants for the people of the 1st from his AT LARGE seat right now.

  • Sterling

    I understand how important it is to figure out what the proper ruling should be in terms of the legal challenge, but honestly, does it really matter in the long run? That is, if Gary doesn’t make it onto the ballot for the 1st District, does anyone really think he wouldn’t run again as an at-large in two years (and probably get re-elected)?

  • Sterling– I think it does matter. What folks like Emert are missing is that, if the commission can pick and choose which laws to apply arbitrarily, then the same tactic could be used against them and/or another candidate they may support in the future. For instance, the mayor/alderman form of government has higher signature requirements (5% to 8% of number of voters in last election or 50 more than the minimum). Would Emert be happy if someone challenged his signature count and he got kicked off the ballot because LaColis Reed said the mayor/alderman signature requirements apply to Peoria and its supposed “hybrid” form of government? I think he’d be incensed. That’s why it’s important to apply the laws equally to everyone, whether you like the outcome or not.

  • Martin Palmer

    What happens to the appeal if it is ruled after the primary date? Or what is the last date the ballots are printed for a primary? Sounds like it could be costly if Sandberg Wins in court.

  • mazr

    I’ve always been a fan of Gary’s but something just isn’t right about this sudden interest in representing the 1st. And saying you now live in an area that may be in line for a nice payday doesn’t help his cause. Disappointing.

  • Karrie E. Alms

    Is it some type of felony for a sitting city councilman to purchase property in a TIF? I think that it might be so maybe someone should look it up … as Gary did not purchase any property.

    Let me tell you, I have lived in the 1st for 18 years and Gary has always been supportive of 1st district issues, especially when the 1st district councilman of the past several years would tell residents of the 1st who lived on the other side of the interstate the way he would vote only to change it the night of the vote and leave you twisting in the wind.

    Tell me what Mr. Emmert’s and Mrs. Moore’s policy stances will be? What are the specifics of their plans to help with the rehabilitation of the 1st … both sides of the interstate?

    *** Let’s see some indepth-plan with action steps outlined … not meetings to establish another TIF or roll TIF money from one TIF to the adjacent TIF to the next adjacent TIF and so.

    *** Let’s talk and resolve the ethnicity issue which we never talk about in the 1st or really address in the city as a whole. Let’s not call it a race issue, because it is not a race issue as we are all humans and we are all of the same race. It is so easy to claim or label ‘racist’ this or that and remain entrenched in stereotypes and go nowhere dialogue that has us never to solve anything.

    *** Let’s talk and resolve the fact that we are out of money … for basics but never at a loss to sell another bond for more trinkets.

    Let Gary’s eligibility run its course. You cannot have rules for one or have arbitray rules … so if there is a legal issue … let’s resolve that.

    In the meantime, let’s have productive dialogue with SMART goals and get something done which takes off the road of the emperor has no clothes and rebuild our city and uplift its citizenry.