BY JENNIFER BAILEY
About 20 minutes after 8 a.m. Monday morning, Danville Election Commission director Barbara Dreher breathed a sigh of relief.
“We got through the first wave,” she said about city election filings.
There were four alderman candidates waiting to file for next year’s city election when the election commission doors opened Monday.
They were newcomer Janis L. Osteguy-Byrne, 209 Orchard St., and current Ward 5 Alderman Mike Puhr, 512 Woodlawn Ave., both for Ward 5; Ward 7 Alderman Steve Foster, 126 Lakeside Drive, seeking re-election; and newcomer Frank Hoskins, 439 Ave C, for Ward 2. Ward 2 Alderwoman Lois Cooper has said she won’t seek re-election.
The fifth person to file Monday morning was Ward 3 Alderman Bill Gilbert, 1200 Dakota St., who also is seeking re-election.
“I strolled in right after …,” Gilbert said about the first group.
Others filing Monday were: Ward 6 Alderman Steve Nichols, 12 W. Raymond Ave., and Al Reynolds, 62 Thornhill Drive, for Ward 7.
There already was some controversy with the election petitions filed.
Puhr said he was given the wrong packet, which gave him higher numbers of registered voter signatures than he needed to obtain. Dreher said she must have given him a packet from four years ago, which had a higher number of required signatures.
She said Puhr only spent more time than needed getting more signatures this time around. It didn’t cause any other problems.
Puhr submitted his petition packet with some signature pages removed.
Candidates for city offices must file a statement of candidacy, an optional loyalty oath, receipt for filing statement of economic interest and petition with the required signatures.
The number of registered voter signatures needed from each ward for the election petitions:
The numbers represent 5-8 percent of votes for that specific office in the last election, Dreher said.
The consolidated primary election, if needed, will be Feb. 26. A primary election is conducted if there are five or more people running for a seat. State law changed the number from three or more people running for a seat to help smaller jurisdictions save money.
The consolidated election will be on April 9. The elections are non-partisan. The positions are four-year terms.
Dreher said she wasn’t sure how busy Monday morning would start for city election filings.
Candidates can file their petitions to run for seven alderman seats, one in each ward, through Monday. The Vermilion County Courthouse Annex will be closed Thursday and Friday because of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Seventeen people have picked up election petitions to possibly file to run for alderman.
Six of the seven aldermen whose seats are up for election next year have indicated they will seek re-election.
Aldermen picking up their packets to seek re-election: Rickey Williams Jr. in Ward 1, Gilbert in Ward 3, Sharon McMahon in Ward 4, Puhr in Ward 5, Nichols in Ward 6 and Foster in Ward 7.
With the redistricting of the wards due to the census, wards have some new boundaries.
Election packets can be filed at the Danville Election Commission office in the Vermilion County Courthouse Annex, 6 N. Vermilion St. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Filings will end at 5 p.m. Nov. 26.
The order of filing determines the order of their names on the ballot. Those who file for the same office at 8 a.m. the first day will have a drawing to determine name placement.
Dreher adds that Dec. 3 is the last day to file an objection to any petitions. Also, Dec. 27 is the last day to file an intent to be a write-in candidate.