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D122 Member Kathy Miller Kicked Off April Election Ballot

Miller's petition of candidacy for the April 9 election was declared invalid by the Electoral Board of the New Lenox School District at a Friday hearing. Miller says the decision was personal and plans to file an appeal.

The nomination petition filed by New Lenox School District 122 Board Member Kathy Miller was found to be invalid at a special hearing Friday. As it stands, her name will not appear on the April ballot. 

Miller has five days to file an appeal with the Will County Circuit Court, and she said she intends to do that. 

"I just don't understand how this came about," she said. "I have to believe it is personal or political, but I don't know why. I'm hard-pressed to understand....Everybody makes mistakes," she said.

By a vote of 2-1, the three members of the Electoral Board of New Lenox School District 122 declared Miller's potion to be invalid due to a notary error. According to the objection, the notary on page four of the five-page document was faulty.

The notary, Donna Gentile, works for Miller at the State Farm Insurance Agency Office that she owns in New Lenox. She put an official seal on a document that inaccurately identified two different names as the person who circulated the nominating petition. 

A total of 12 signatures appeared on the page that showed that Chris Miller, Kathy Miller's son, signed in one spot, but Kathy Miller's name was printed on another line that identified her as the circulator of the petition. Due to the errors, that page was struck.

Because Miller had only collected 56 signatures—50 signatures is the minimum number necessary for a school board candidate to have his or her name placed on the ballot—her petition is "insufficient" without the 12 signatures that were on the stricken page.

The three members of the Electoral Board are board president Nick DiSandro, secretary Maureen Broderick and vice president Sue Smith.

DiSandro cast the only "no" vote. Smith and Broderick voted to reject Miller's petition after a 15 minute closed door discussion.

Miller, who was first elected to the board in 2009, was running in April for a two-year term. 

An objection to Miller's petition was filed Jan. 3. She described the errors as merely clerical in nature.

Broderick said her decision to invalidate the page of Miller's petition was "not political." While she blamed the error on the notary, she considered the error "egregious" enough to effectively kick Miller off the ballot as a candidate for the Board of Education.

 "I don't have anything against (Miller)," Smith said. "This is about her error. It's not about me."

DiSandro said he was disappointed with the decision. "I think many times when people run there are clerical errors. This is definitely a clerical error. Testimony verified it. Case law verified it."  

Readers might like:

  • Candidate Petition for New Lenox School District Challenged; Hearing Set for Friday

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Kimberly January 12, 2013 at 12:04 AM
An error is an error is an error ...... that was PERSONAL!
Jim January 12, 2013 at 12:30 AM
If testimony and case law verify it, how could two board members vote against it. Sounds totally personal and political to me.
Brad Baber January 12, 2013 at 12:49 AM
It is the candidates responsibility to correctly fill out the petitions. As an experienced candidate, Mrs. Miller knows this. There was not just one error but as I understand multiple errors and ommitions on multiple pages. It was a sloppy piece fraught with erros by her own admission. This has gone on with candidate petitions for as long as there have been petitions. The question is, should we all live by the same rules, by adhering to the rules, or should we make exceptions when certain people "feel" like it? I think we should stick with one set of rules, the rules, and leave no exceptions. That's is the only way to be fair isn't it? If she had just gone over the petitions with a little care before turning them in, she wouldn't have any problem. Her pity party whining about it doesn't help her case.
Cat January 12, 2013 at 12:56 AM
I am sure the appeal will straighten out the clerical error. But not the personal part of it. So we are now faced with having a contentious board. Wonderful.
Jeanette Klein January 12, 2013 at 02:07 AM
What a shame that in this era of such limited financial resources for education the taxpayers of New Lenox are being forced to finance this clear vendetta against Mrs. Miller. The attorney present at the board meeting made it clear that the errors within Mrs. Miller's petition were not sufficient to disqualify her. He backed up this opinion with relevant case law. Tax payers of New Lenox, is this how you want your hard earned money spent?
Remy January 12, 2013 at 04:21 AM
Kathy Miller has been a supportive school board member and active, beneficial community member for a number of years. What happened today was most obviously personal. The lawyer present cited case law showing the errors on the petition were not substantial to delete Mrs. Miller from the ballot. Hearing this, how could Broderick and Smith vote for this deletion? That is what made this personal.
NLMom January 12, 2013 at 04:38 AM
Sounds like candidates should double check their paperwork. Good for members Broderick and Smith. When the time came to fill Gillooley's spot the good Dr. Sass told one candidate her paperwork was not in on time when according to the Patch's fb page the candidate said it was. She was unable to interview for the position. The district had to stick to the rules in that case apparently. When it's one of them the rules should be followed as well. It's the candidates responsibility to make sure their paperwork is without errors. Thank you members Broderick and Smith.
NLMom January 12, 2013 at 04:40 AM
The board has been at odds for years. When it became stacked in one favor is when the problems came about. Ask the administration about that.
Edward Ronkowski January 12, 2013 at 05:01 AM
If a person cannot correctly fill out a simple one page document, how can that person be expected to understand the complexity of the Lincoln-Way School District multimillion dollar budget?
Tom Berry January 12, 2013 at 06:38 AM
Ed Ronkowski, the guy who never made a mistake!!! Aren't you a lawyer? The district lawyer said the boards decision wouldn't stand in court but Smith and Broderick decided they knew better and now are wasting taxpayers dollars! Smith and Broderick put that woman up to challenging the petition, then they sat in judgment. What a conflict of interest on the part of Smith and Broderick, but that's nothing new! Anyone that voted for Smith in this election is supporting someone who wastes taxpayers dollars!
Kathie Miller January 12, 2013 at 02:38 PM
Why is this a top story?!? Seems very small
Amanda Bowl January 12, 2013 at 05:39 PM
Ed Ronkowski, give me a break! You were the biggest jerk at the recent will county republican caucus. Maureen Broderick, give me a break! You have your share of skeletons in the closet! Kathy Miller just keep fighting!
Can-Am January 12, 2013 at 05:41 PM
Talk about white noise, deflecting from the real problem at hand. The bottom line in NL is we spend too much for mediocre results. We shouldn't be satisfied by measurements taken from standardized tests that support the weakest state/national education system in the industrialized world. As taxpayers, it's time we say a collective NO to waste, administrator/teacher salary increases of an average > 10%, well beyond CPI (3%). Please take a close look at your next Will County Tax Bill. You will see that the NL School Districts consume over 60% of your tax burden. NL 122 approved another increase recently, with total disregard to current financial conditions. Did your salary and compensation increase > 10% in each year since 2006? Sass & Manville want you to focus on averages, state payments, transportation costs, and everything but the real problem (salaries). Administrator TOTAL Compensation (estimated) Sass = $380,000.00 (not $212K) Manville = $220,000.00 Total = $600,000.00 We spend an incredible $105 per student on the compensation of two individuals leading an elementary school district of 5700 students with avg. performance. Instead of application errors, we should demand fiscal restraint, beginning with DiSandro, who as President of NL 122 is failing residents. NOTE/FACT: Ms. Miller supports HIGHER taxes in NL If not for Sue Smith & Maureen Broderick, it would be much worse! Proposal: 50% pay reduction for Sass & Manville, & double standards!
Charles Reasoner January 12, 2013 at 05:57 PM
This is not a situation where a petition requiring hundreds or thousands of signatures was required. There were only a dozen or so signatures that were at issue and could easily have been verified. It is those signatures that are important not the Notarization. Disqualifying the petition may or may not have been political, but in any event it was really foolhardy. Those who did that ought to be ashamed of themselves.
Linda Carson January 12, 2013 at 08:47 PM
When someone tells you it's nothing personal, you can bet your bottom dollar it's personal.
Can-Am January 12, 2013 at 08:58 PM
Talk about white noise, deflecting from the real problem at hand. The bottom line in NL is we spend too much for mediocre results. We shouldn't be satisfied by measurements taken from standardized tests that support the weakest state/national education system in the industrialized world. As taxpayers, it's time we say a collective NO to waste, administrator/teacher salary increases of an average > 10%, well beyond CPI (3%). Please take a close look at your next Will County Tax Bill. You will see that the NL School Districts consume over 60% of your tax burden. NL 122 approved another increase recently, with total disregard to current financial conditions. Did your salary and compensation increase > 10% in each year since 2006? Sass & Manville want you to focus on averages, state payments, transportation costs, and everything but the real problem (salaries). Administrator TOTAL Compensation (estimated) Sass = $380,000.00 (not $212K) Manville = $220,000.00 Total = $600,000.00 We spend an incredible $105 per student on the compensation of two individuals leading an elementary school district of 5700 students with avg. performance. Instead of application errors, we should demand fiscal restraint, beginning with DiSandro, who as President of NL 122 is failing residents. NOTE/FACT: Ms. Miller supports HIGHER taxes in NL If not for Sue Smith & Maureen Broderick, it would be much worse! Proposal: 50% pay reduction for Sass & Manville, & double standards!
enoughisenough January 12, 2013 at 09:46 PM
NLDad, Did your figures include the following? Social Security payments to each individual - 6,826.20 (max output for employees making over 110,100 in 2012) 5,400.00 in Federal unemployment cost 23,400.00 in State unemployment cost 2,700.00 in Workman's Comp? Seems to me that the cost per student for these two are more than we think.
enoughisenough January 12, 2013 at 09:47 PM
Great Post! I hope your name is on the ballot in April. Time to call it for what it is. Go NLDad
Jeanette Klein January 12, 2013 at 10:14 PM
Gosh NLDad, don't know where you went to school but we were taught that half of zero is zero. Zero is exactly what Mr. DiSandro earns volunteering his time to the students of New Lenox. Not sure how he could possibly earn less.
Will County Resident January 12, 2013 at 10:42 PM
Sally, he's demanding financial restraint from DiSandro when it comes to taxing citizens and paying administrators extremely high salaries. This has nothing to do with DiSandro's pay of $0 for being a board member.
Tom Berry January 12, 2013 at 10:47 PM
School employees don't get social security you idiot!
NLMOM2 January 13, 2013 at 06:23 PM
It's not Lincoln-Way School District...it's the New Lenox School Distirct
sassy January 15, 2013 at 12:13 AM
Keep Your Day Time Job!
NL Taxpayer January 23, 2013 at 05:39 PM
NLDad...very well put...hope to see your name on the ballot. Broderick and Smith need some help!

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