Petition problems in Roscoe

Candidates for trustee and president positions in the Village of Roscoe recently experienced “unusual” difficulties filing their candidacy petitions, according to Ward Sterett. Sterett is running for village president in the Feb. 25, 2003, election.

Sterett said one of the reasons he is running for the village presidency is because the village’s past laissez-faire approach to government and management is outdated because of its growth. Sterett said it is this philosophic style that led to the petition snafu.

Sterett said the ordeal began Dec. 11 when he went to pick up his candidacy packet from the office of village Clerk Bonnie Miles. Sterett said Miles informed him that the period for filing the petitions was Jan. 6, 2003, through Jan. 13, 2003. However, Sterett said on Dec. 10 he was told by Village attorney Mark McClenathan the period for filing was Dec. 9 through Dec. 16.

Sterett also said Miles told him that he could personally get into “trouble” if he incorrectly filled out the petition. In contradiction, Sterett said McClenathan or another attorney friend told him that the petition would just be thrown out if it was filled out incorrectly. Efforts to reach McClenathan were unsuccessful.

Sterett also alleges Smith’s petitions have irregularities, and said he may protest them.

After a series of telephone calls to and from state election officials and McClenathan, Sterett said his petition along with those from trustee candidates Dave DeCarlo, Mary Abernathy, Aaron Benkocioh were finally accepted Dec. 16, after Miles had previously rejected them twice. Efforts to contact DeCarlo, Abernathy and Benkocioh were unsuccessful.

Before accepting the group’s petitions, Miles called Roscoe police to the village clerk’s office, Sterett said. When Miles was asked to give her description of the events, she said: “No comment. Contact Mr. Smith.” Lowell Smith is the Village of Roscoe president who is running for re-election. Smith did not return this paper’s telephone calls.

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