Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

January 14, 2013

Four out of five Newton objections dismissed

Jackson Adams
Effingham Daily News

NEWTON — Newton City Council dealt with objections to filed petitions for one of the first times last week.

The council held hearings Thursday and Friday afternoons to determine the validity of five objections with four of them being dismissed.

  The first objection heard Thursday was from Mayor Mark Bolander, who questioned the validity of Michael Fisher's claims of residency and his petition to run for mayor of Newton. The election board was made up of Alderman Scott Bloomberg and Robert Reisner and City Collector Alice Addis.

Fisher, who said he has owned a house in Newton, as well as one outside city limits, should be able to run for mayor based on his residency within the city and cited Chicago mayor Rahm Emmanuel's living situation as an example of being able to run for office while not living in the city limits.

"We did live in this house," he said. "Not all the time, but some of the time, like a summer house. I didn't live there all the time and I don't live there all the time now."

Bolander said he filed his objection to Fisher's petition as soon as he found out Fisher did not meet the requirement of having lived in a city residence for more than one year.

"After realizing a petition for mayor was filed at city hall, I realized the residency had not been fulfilled and I filed an objection," Bolander said during the hearing.

Jasper County Clerk Linda Huth was called for testimony by Bolander and said Fisher had filed for a change of address on Aug. 29 and had changed his voting registration Sept. 26 of the same year.

Fisher said he still received mail at both of his residences and had recently renewed his driver's license and had not changed his address to match his Newton address.

Fisher also attempted to file an objection against Bolander during his hearing but was rejected from doing so by not following the deadlines. Ultimately, the council dismissed both Fisher's objection and petition to run, effectively removing his name from the ballot.

An objection was filed against Bloomberg by Diane Hickox, citing an incorrect date in which Bloomberg needed to have filed for a political party. The objection was dismissed.

Jo McGlothlin filed an objection against Reisner, also stating the incorrect date for filing as a member of a political party. It was also dismissed by the board.

Darryl Wallace filed two objections, one against Bloomberg and another against Alderman Rick Lindemann. He did not appear at either hearing and both of his objections were dismissed.

Jackson Adams can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 131, or jackson.adams@effinghamdailynews.com.