Boseneiler off the ballot, plans run as write-in
MORRISON – Allen Boseneiler’s effort to get on the Rock Falls mayoral ballot ended Friday.
In a court hearing, a judge threw out Boseneiler’s appeal of a city Electoral Board decision to remove him from the ballot.
The two remaining candidates are Mayor David Blanton and City Clerk Bill Wescott.
After the hearing, the Rock Falls businessman said he would file as a write-in candidate. Although the deadline for write-ins has passed, Boseneiler was allowed extra time because of his appeal.
In January, Mark Searing, the city’s building inspector, challenged Boseneiler’s candidacy, contending, among other things, that the candidate hadn’t paid $150 in city fines before he filed. Boseneiler paid the fines a few hours after filing his candidacy.
The board ruled the municipal election code requires payment beforehand.
At Friday’s hearing, attorney Tom Sanders, who represented the Electoral Board, said the court had no standing to rule on the appeal because Boseneiler failed to meet notice requirements. He cited an appellate court ruling to make his case.
While Boseneiler served notice on Searing and City Attorney Jim Reese, he did not do so for members of the Electoral Board, as state law requires, Sanders said.
Whiteside County Associate Judge Bill McNeal asked for Boseneiler’s response.
“Sounds overwhelming,” Boseneiler said.
But he went on to argue that the city never provided him with transcripts from the board hearing.
The judge said that while he agreed the transcripts issue may be a concern, he couldn’t act on that issue if he had no jurisdiction in the first place.
McNeal said that while he was surprised by the law governing the situation, he had no choice but to follow the higher court’s decision.
When Boseneiler protested, the judge said he was sworn to uphold the law. “I don’t make the law,” he said.
Boseneiler continued to bring up his arguments.
The judge then responded that it was almost contemptuous to ask a judge to “disregard the law that exists.”
Two weeks ago, McNeal postponed a hearing on the matter to give Boseneiler time to get an attorney.
Earlier in Friday’s hearing, Boseneiler told the judge that the attorney he had couldn’t make it to the hearing. He asked for another extension.
McNeal denied the request.
“There are 90,000 lawyers in Illinois,” the judge said. “You can hire any one of them you want. You chose one who allegedly can’t be here.”
He said the ballots were going out soon and that a decision had to be made.
The election is April 9.