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Campaign sign in dispute

Candidate says village worker called her cousin

Published: Friday, March 29, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, March 29, 2013 12:14 p.m. CDT

LYNDON – Is village hall that concerned about a sign for the village president’s opponent?

Candidate Kathleen Stone thinks so.

The retired church secretary is facing incumbent Tim Crady in the race for village president on April 9.

Unlike some other villages, Lyndon’s election this year, like the one in 2011, has become particularly heated. Some of the trustee hopefuls are defining their candidacies by which village president candidate they support.

Here’s what happened Tuesday, by the account of Stone’s cousin, Pamela Beldin:

Public Works Superintendent Mike Williamson called Beldin, who lives in Ganado, Texas, at 10:57 a.m. to let Beldin know that Lyndon is holding an election and that signs were being placed on property without permission.

Williamson, who identified himself as working with the village, asked her whether Stone had gotten permission to put a sign on Beldin’s property in Lyndon.

Beldin told Williamson that Stone called her and got permission. She informed him that she was her cousin.

Williamson responded, “Uh, OK,” and hung up.

Beldin said she wasn’t upset that Williamson called her. “I just took it that he was trying to do his job,” she said.

Afterward, she informed Stone.

Stone questioned why a village employee would call about her sign during work hours.

“When did it become the water superintendent’s job to call and ask whether an election sign is legal or illegal? Shouldn’t that have come from the clerk’s office?” she wrote in a letter to Sauk Valley Media. “A worker does not do campaign work during working hours.”

“My opinion of the election tactics of the opposition is that they are desperate and running scared that a woman who is 4 feet, 8 inches tall will win the election,” she wrote.

Crady said he had no idea Williamson called his opponent’s cousin. “You’ll have to ask him about that,” he said.

Williamson said he would comment after he got more information about what Stone was saying.

Stone and her husband, Francis, who regularly attend board meetings, are sympathetic to the minority of members on the village board. They contend Crady keeps information from residents – for instance, the facts surrounding the sale of a road grader.

They also sided with the board minority in its opposition to firing a maintenance employee last year. Those members said Crady didn’t give them documentation about the reasons for firing the employee, Will Shaffer. One of the trustees said Shaffer, who is black, was the victim of discrimination.

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