A real race in Rock Falls?
So who wins politically with Allen Boseneiler off the Rock Falls mayoral ballot?
Probably City Clerk Bill Wescott, now the lone challenger to Mayor David Blanton in the April 9 election.
Any votes that would have gone to Boseneiler – in other words, folks unhappy with the local political establishment – now likely will go to Wescott.
When I spoke with Wescott the other day, he acknowledged this reality.
Last week, a Whiteside County judge threw out Boseneiler's appeal of a city Electoral Board decision to remove him from the ballot. Boseneiler didn't pay city fines before he filed his candidacy, which, the board ruled, violated the state municipal election code.
Four years ago, Blanton took 62 percent of the vote against Doug Schultz, a retired Lawrence Brothers employee.
Wescott noted that Schultz didn't mount much of an effort and still got a respectable result.
This year's mayoral race has been quiet so far, other than Boseneiler's effort to get on the ballot.
Although a Blanton foe, Boseneiler also has been a big help for the mayor's re-election effort, playing the role of convenient distraction.
The local businessman regularly attends City Council meetings, criticizing Blanton's administration.
The Jan. 15 council minutes read, "A brief verbal exchange between Mayor Blanton and Mr. Boseneiler occurred. Mayor Blanton told Mr. Boseneiler that his time was up and he needed to sit down or he would have him escorted from the meeting. Mr. Boseneiler obliged the request."
This circus is diverting people's attention from other issues. One big issue: Sterling keeps making offers to consolidate services, contending that both cities would save money. But Rock Falls is rebuffing Sterling.
With the Boseneiler dispute presumably over, Blanton and Wescott can turn to other more pressing matters. They have more than a month to make this a real race.
David Giuliani is a reporter for Sauk Valley Media. He can be reached at dgiuliani@saukvalley or at 800-798-4085, ext. 525.