Glen Ellyn mayor won’t seek 2nd term; party recruits municipal candidates

This November, Glen Ellyn voters won’t get much of a break if they’re feeling politically fatigued.

Less than two weeks after casting their ballots in an unprecedented presidential election, voters will decide which village candidates will carry the Civic Betterment Party banner in the spring municipal election.

While they’re recruiting hopefuls, party leaders also are adjusting their traditional caucus-style town hall in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

At the top of the ticket, Village President Diane McGinley won’t seek a second term, hewing to a tradition of elected officials serving only four years in Glen Ellyn.

In making her decision, McGinley said she’s ready to open the door to a successor, citing frustrations with the direction of the present board and concerns about micromanagement of operations. Development issues have been flash points during her tenure.

"This current board does not feel the need to honor past votes or directions set," McGinley said. "They want to get involved in operations rather than legislation."

The party’s nominating committee is accepting candidate applications until Sept. 15.

Erik Ford stepped down as president of the Civic Betterment Party to seek the party’s nod for one of the open trustee positions.

Traditionally, the party’s nominating committee interviews candidates and presents finalists to voters at a biennial town hall held in December.

The top-vote getters receive the party’s nomination along with support to file nominating petitions. Party-backed candidates almost always go on to win election.

This year, the party is moving up the process by three weeks due to uncertainty over the COVID-19 crisis and to allow for increased virtual exposure of candidates to voters.

"We have to get signatures after the town meeting in order for the candidates to get on the ballot, and we didn’t know during the pandemic whether that was going to be an easy thing to do or a difficult thing to do," Civic Betterment President Jim Burket said.

The nonpartisan organization dates to 1931 and aims to level the playing field in village politics. This week, the party announced plans to hold the town meeting and final voting on Nov. 14, but the exact time, location and format is to be determined. The town meeting ballot will be solidified by Oct. 15.

"I’m going to find it pretty hard to believe that we’re going to have what would be considered a traditional meeting," Burket said.

The party will offer expanded early voting options, with those dates tentatively set for Nov. 7, and Nov. 9-12, at the Glen Ellyn Civic Center.

Party officials also are looking to provide drive-through voting option at sites on the north and south sides of the village. Residents 18 and older can cast ballots.

How is the candidate field shaping up?

"We do have some people interested in the village president spot and we’ve got a few trustee applications but it’s early in the process, I assume we will see more interest as time goes by," Burket said.

The party doesn’t publicly identify applicants until the nominating committee selects their choices. In addition to five officers, 14 members from across town sit on the committee.

Other candidates still can run against a Civic Betterment nominee by submitting nominating petitions with the village clerk’s office.

"Next board is going to be a very important board because there are a lot of projects both in the works and on the table," Burket said.


via Daily Herald

August 21, 2020 at 06:39AM

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