Residents running for local office with the school, library and park districts could begin filing their petitions and candidate information Monday to be put on the spring election ballot.
They also have an extra two days to file as the General Assembly recently passed Senate Bill 3338, pushing the filing date back for the 2013 consolidated election to Dec. 26. Gov. Pat Quinn signed the law recently, which was effective immediately.
The previous filing date deadline was Dec. 24. The date was pushed back to give clerks and secretaries who were required to stay a full day on the day before Christmas.
Now, all local governments must accept the candidate petitions until the day after Christmas. While the agencies do not have to be open all day, they do have to be open for at least part of the day.
In addition, filing objections have been extended as well. Objections can be made within five business days from Dec. 26, but will vary depending on if the agencies are open for at least seven hours on New Year’s Eve.
As of last week, most of the openings on the local boards either had interested residents to the number of seats available or are falling short of enough candidates to fill the lines of the ballot.
The Chillicothe Public Library has five seats available with one being a two-year term, for which incumbent Jane Harrison picked up a candidates’ packet.
Chillicothe Public Library Director Susan Drissi said she thinks it is the length of time that scares away potential candidates.
“I think that four years looming ahead is a long time,” said Drissi.
With other commitments and the business of life, Drissi said the time commitment per month to serve on the library board is minimal.
The board meets at 6:15 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month and members attempt to keep their work to around an hour, or no longer than 90 minutes. Usually they only take a little more time around specific times of years, such as for the preparation of the tax levy.
Each trustee is assigned to one of six committees, most of which meet when either a need arises or a couple times per year. They include committees of audit, building, finance, policy, litigation and personnel.
“No one does anything themselves,” said Drissi, as she and usually a staff member are also on each of the committees.
While some residents may think a trustee needs to be an active reader, Drissi said what makes a good trustee is “a desire to see our library be the best it can be.”
Knowledge of the library is important, Drissi said, but a trustee does not have to be a frequent visitor. They simply need to take an interest in the community.
“You don’t have to love books. You don’t have to love anything. If you have an interest in the library, it’s going to blossom out to our community,” she said.
IVC School Board
The Illinois Valley Central District 321 Board of Education has four open seats with incumbents Donna Uebler, Sarah Williamson and Nell German all picking up packets.
Incumbent Steve Nalley has indicated he does not plan to run, according to board secretary Lori Garber. Resident Mike Birch also has picked up a packet, and if the incumbents and the newcomer all file their petitions and no one else joins the group, they will run uncontested.
Chillicothe Park District
The park district also appears to have an uncontested election shaping up as all of its incumbents — Dick Howarth, Sandy Tippett and Wes Williamson — all have picked up their petitions.
Any resident who wants to run for local office still can pick up a candidates packet of information and petition for signatures. Candidates are not official until they file all the necessary paperwork to be on the ballot.
City candidates already finished their filings for seats around the Chillicothe City Council table in November.
Also on the spring ballot will be the local township candidates.
In Chillicothe Township, both the Democrats and Republicans met the first week of December to set their slates.
For the Democrats, Karen Moewe heads the group running for the position of supervisor, with incumbents Bill Prather, Ruth McLaughlin, Marci Ely and Greg Owens for trustees.
Incumbent Sam Wright is running for road commissioner, and incumbent Sharon Crabel for city clerk. Newcomer Karen Danner is rounding out the slate for collector. No one is running for assessor.
On the Republican side, lone incumbent Sharon Minnes is running for assessor.
D. Clyde Campbell is running for supervisor, and Don Clemens, JB Culbertson, Judy Gajdik and Jim Wright are running as trustees.
No one is running for clerk, road commissioner or collector.