By Stephanie Malench
On January 5, the Madison County committee for school board elections held an objection to nomination and candidacy for election hearing against two candidates for the Collinsville Community Unit 10 School Board election.
The objection was filed on December 30 by Rick Casey of Caseyville against current school board members running for re-election, Gary “Kooz” Kuzmierczak and Tim Hasamear.
The Board consisted of Debbie Ming Mendoza (election authority for school boards), State’s Attorney Tom Haine, Ray Wesley (sitting in for Circuit Clerk Tom McCrae), and non-voting board member John Henson as legal counsel.
Casey, the Petitioner, filed the objection on the grounds that the nomination papers were not filled out correctly by the candidates. Casey is also running for one of the Unit 10 School Board positions.
Specific items on the ballots that Casey disagreed with include for Kuzmierczak:
“On the Statement of Candidacy, under the heading of “OFFICE”, the Candidate put the terminology of Board Member” and in the heading of “City, Village, or Special District”, the Candidate then put only ‘Collinsville’. This box, given it is a Special District, should be filled in with the wording ‘Collinsville School District Unit #10’ as it encompasses other municipalities than just that of the wording ‘Collinsville’. One can come to the conclusion that this is for City of Collinsville to be a Board Member as it is being held in the same Consolidate Election”.
“On the Petition for Nominations, the Candidate failed to insert the Township in which he resides on Petition pages numbered 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, and 9. There are several addresses available with a Collinsville mailing address and given the Collinsville zip code encompasses several townships, it shall be mentioned to verify the residential address and the area it is in”. Casey asserted the township information is necessary and the 59 signatures on those pages should be removed, thereby removing Kuzmierczak from the ballot for not having enough signatures.
During questions from the board, Haine asked if there are any other townships in the City of Collinsville besides Collinsville Township. Casey argued yes because there is a subdivision near Twin Echo School that is in Caseyville Township 1 in St. Clair County.
When asked if it was possible to live at an address in Collinsville City in Madison County but live in a different township, Casey said “that I would have to research and I would have to research numerous addresses”.
Wesley then asked a follow-up question of Casey, asking if there are any other school districts in the City of Collinsville other than Collinsville Community School District #10. Casey replied no.
With no other questions, the committee voted unanimously to overrule the objection to Kuzmierczak’s petition for candidacy. Casey then moved that he wished to withdraw his objection to Hasamear’s filing, as he was filing the second objection on the same grounds. The board motioned, seconded and approved the decision and the hearing was adjourned.