Legal & Legislative Notes
by Robert A. Stuart General Counsel
ELECTION PROCEDURES APPLICABLE TO 1977 PARK DISTRICT ELECTIONS
The following general election schedule is set forth for the information of park districts and pertains to the elections to be held in April, 1977.
GENERAL PARK DISTRICTS
January 10 First day for filing petitions (Filed with the Secretary of the District) (Ch. 105, Ill. Rev. Stat., Sec. 2-11)
January 24 Last day for filing petitions (Ch. 105, Sec. 2-11)
January 29 Last day for filing withdrawals from nomination (Ch. 105, Sec. 2-11) Last day for Secretary to certify nomination (Ch. 105,Sec.2-11)(Ch.46,Sec. 10-6)
February 3 Last day for filing objections to certificates of nomination, or nomination papers (Ch. 46, Sec. 10-8)
March 7 First day absentee voter may file application for ballot (Ch. 46, Sec. 19-2)
March 26 Last day for posting and publishing notices of election (Ch. 105, Sec. 2-12)
March 31 Last day to apply for absentee voter's ballot by mail (Ch. 46, Sec. 19-2)
April 2 Last day to apply in person for absentee voter's ballot (Ch. 46, Sec. 19-2)
April 4 Last day for publication in newspaper of list of nominees (Ch. 46, Sec. 16-10)
April 5 Election day (unless date changed to third Tuesday in April pursuant to the provisions of Section 2-12 of The Park District Code)*
*Period for filing petitions remains the same regardless of whether election is held on the first or third Tuesday in April.
PLEASURE DRIVEWAY AND PARK DISTRICTS
Because of the provisions contained in Chapter 105, Ill. Rev. Stat., Sec. 2-17, the dates for the filing of nominating petitions vary from the provisions as they apply to General Park Districts as follows:
December 27, 1976 First day for filing petitions (Ch. 105, Sec.2-17)
January 31 Last day for filing petitions (Ch. 105, Sec. 2-17) (Ch. 46, Sec. 10-6)
All other dates applicable to Pleasure Driveway and Park Districts are the same as those set forth for General Park Districts.
The following information should be carefully noted in connection with the conduct of 1977 elections:
The Illinois Government Ethics Act, Article 4(a) provides at Section 105 (a):
(a) A candidate for elective office shall file his statement not later than the end of the period during which he can take the action necessary under the laws of this State to attempt to qualify for nomination, election, or retention to such office if he has not filed a statement in relation to the same unit of government within a year preceding such action.
Since an incumbent park commissioner was required under the provisions of the Ethics Act to file annually a Statement of Economic Interest prior to April 30 of each year, it is presumed that any incumbent filing a nominating petition will have previously filed such a statement and would not be required to file an additional statement at the time of filing his nominating petition. If any incumbent had failed, however, to file such, a statement should be filed at the time of filing his nominating petition.
Public Act 78-1183 adopted at the 1974 regular session of the General Assembly (Ch. 46, Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, Sec. 10-6) provides as follows:
7. The State Board of Elections or the
Illinois Parks and Recreation 8 November/December, 1976
appropriate clerk with whom such a petition for nomination is filed shall notify the person for whom a petition for nomination has been filed of the obligation to file statements of organization, reports of campaign contributions, and annual reports of campaign contributions and expenditures under Article 9 of this Act. Such notice shall be given on a form prescribed by the State Board of Elections, sent by certified mail (delivered to addressee only, return receipt requested) within 2 business days of the day and hour endorsed on the petition, and accompanied by a form for filing the statement of organization and a manual of instructions supplied by the Board. The Board or the appropriate clerk shall preserve the receipts returned under this paragraph for a period of 2 years from the date of receipt.
Because of the numerous changes in the election law and the requirements in connection with the filing of "Statements of Economic Interest" and "Campaign Organization Disclosure" documents, election procedures followed by each park district should be carefully checked with both the local attorney for the park district, as well as the County Clerk of the County involved. Forms and materials relative to the requirements under these provisions must be secured through the office of the County Clerk.
Note is to be made that a new Section 2-13a effective July 1, 1976 authorizes the candidates to appoint in writing one or two agents to act as challengers or watchers in each polling place. This Section reads as follows:
2-13a. Challengers or watchers within the polling place—Appointment by candidates. Section 2-13a. Any of the candidates may appoint, in writing over their signature, one or two agents or representatives who shall act as challengers or watchers for the respective candidates in each polling place. The challengers or watchers shall be protected in the discharge of their duties by the election judges and peace officers and shall be permitted to remain within the polling place in such position as will enable them to see each person as he offers his vote, and the challengers or watchers may remain within the polling place throughout the canvass of the vote in such position as will enable them to see the canvass and until the returns are signed. All challengers shall be qualified electors within the Park District and shall have the same powers as challengers at general elections. Watchers may serve in any polling place in the district in which they reside and shall have the same powers as watchers at general elections.
GOVERNOR APPROVES SENATE BILL 887 AMENDING DISCONNECTION REQUIREMENTS
On August 19, 1976, Governor Walker approved Senate Bill 887 as Public Act 79-1391, substantially modifying the requirements as applied to property owners who may file notices to disconnect from one park district and annexing to another park district; said park districts having a common boundary and more than one-half of the population of each park district consisting of any one municipality. The amendment imposes three new requirements upon property owners: First, that he personally reside upon the parcel which he proposes to have disconnected; Second, that the parcel be not more than one acre in size; and, Third, that the parcel be used exclusively for residential purposes. These requirements are in addition to the prior requirement that the property be contiguous with the boundary of the park district to which annexation is sought. The amended Section 3-13 of the Park District Code reads as follows:
Sec. 3-13. If 2 park districts have a common boundary and more than 1/2 the population of each such park district consists of any one municipality, then any property owner whose property is located within the incorporated limits of a municipality, and in a park district more than 1/2 the population of which consists of a different municipality, may disconnect from the park district not representative of his municipality and annex to the park district that is representative of his municipality by filing a notice of such intention with the county clerk as provided in this Section. A property owner may not file such notice to disconnect and annex unless (a) his property is contiguous with the boundary of the park district to which annexation is sought, and (b) he personally resides upon the parcel which he proposes to have disconnected, and the parcel which he proposes to disconnect is not more than one acre in size and is used exclusively for residential purposes.
The Governor also approved House Bill 3918 as Public Act 79-1423, on August 19, 1976. This Act clarifies the provisions of the Code in regard to
Continued on Page 28
Illinois Parks and Recreation 9 November/December, 1976
LEGAL & LEGISLATIVE ...
Continued from Page 9
issuance of revenue bonds for the purposes of golf courses and facilities and issuance of bonds for the construction of outdoor tennis courts, handball, racquetball or squash courts, or zoos and facilities. The clarification is to the effect that the applicable sections, i.e. Sections 9.1-5 and 9.2-5, do not prohibit any park district from entering into an agreement, including a lease, to any school district, municipality or other unit of local government which would authorize the use and/or operation by and for such other unit of local government unless such agreement was specifically prohibited by the terms of the revenue bonds or the ordinances of the park district. The specific language in each Section reads as follows:
COURT CONSTRUCTION OF OPEN MEETING LAW
The Appellate Court of the State of Illinois, Second District, in the case of the People of the State of Illinois vs. Board of Education of District 170, et al. Docket No. 75-285, in an opinion released on August 9, 1976, rendered an opinion stating that the term "employment" as used in Section 42 of Chapter 102, Ill. Rev. Stat. 73 (Open Meeting Act) comprehends renewal or continuance of employment as well as compensation, and under circumstances discussions of personnel retention and salaries in closed sessions was permissible where no final action was taken. The Court stated at page 6 of its opinion as follows:
"We reject as 'absurd' the construction of the word 'employment' urged by the State, to mean only 'initial hiring' of an employee. . . . This comprehends (for purposes of the Social Security Act) not only work actually done, but the entire employer-employee relationship for which compensation is paid ***'. The normal import of the work 'employment' comprehends renewal or continuance of employment as well as compensation . . ."
Illinois Parks and Recreation 28 November/December, 1976