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BGHS Student Seeking Arlington Heights Park District Seat Faces Challenges to Nominating Petitions

Three people come forward to file a challenge Jona Augustyn’s petitions citing numerous errors in the paperwork. A hearing before the Cook County Electoral Board is scheduled for today (Jan. 15).

An 18-year-old Buffalo Grove High School student running for a seat on the Arlington Heights Park District faces numerous challenges to his nominating petition, including his failure to fasten the paperwork into a book, at a hearing before the Cook County Electoral Board.

Jona Augustyn of Arlington Heights filed his petition to run for Arlington Heights Park Commissioner on Dec. 26, but several people have challenged the legality of his nomination petitions citing irregularities with signatures and addresses, the format of the petition and when the paperwork was notarized.

The irregularities­, such as voters printing their names rather than signing their names or signatures of people who are not registered voters, disqualifies them and brings the number of valid signatures to 103, which is below the required 125, according to paperwork filed with the Electoral Board.

Arlington Heights Park District Board President Maryfran Leno, Commissioner Myles Naughton and resident Tim Gelinas are among those who challenged the petitions.

Naughton said he was curious about who had filed to run in the April election for commissioner, so he contacted the park district and learned Augustyn was one of the candidates.

He learned some of Augustyn’s paperwork was not notarized when the Buffalo Grove High School senior brought in his petitions on December 26, 2012. Naughton later looked into the paperwork further and discovered the errors, then filed his objection.

“As we started digging into the details behind his packet, there were other mistakes,” Naughton said. “According to county rules and regulations, he didn’t meet all the requirements.”

Some of the errors would have been easy to overlook, like signatures of people who were not registered to vote, he said.

Naughton does not want to discourage people to come forward to volunteer for the park district or board, however, he thinks it is important to gain a bit of experience and learn about the district.

Arlington Heights Park District has a budget of more than $20 million and faces important issues like finding ways to finance improvements to its community centers. Naughton said he never saw Augustyn at any meetings.

The Electoral Board hearing is set for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15 at the Cook County Administration Building, 69 West Washington, Pedway Room (lower level), in Chicago.

sankar January 15, 2013 at 07:13 PM
Does not sound right. New generation unable to keep up with archaic rules?. Surprising and shocking that an opportunity is not given to fix the errors, so the democratic process can work. Hope they have a provision for a write-in candidate.
Joan J January 16, 2013 at 04:25 AM
I would expect someone running for a Park Board seat to be able to read, understand and follow instructions. That is what I look for, at the very least, in a candidate

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