Ron Zelms’ letter about O’Fallon “petition troubles” is fake news.
Zelms, a self-proclaimed conspiracy theorist, would have us believe that Mayor Gary Graham unfairly loaded the board reviewing a challenge to David Hursey’s city treasurer petition signatures with pro-Hursey members. Instead, Illinois state law 10 ILCS 5/10-9(3) clearly mandates the board consist of the mayor, the senior-most alderman, and the clerk. As clerk, Phil Goodwin appropriately recused himself because the petition challenged his interpretation of the required number of signatures. In his place, the mayor selected the second-most senior alderman, Gene McCoskey.
Zelms apparently wants us think that the Good Ole Boys network was at work, despite the mayor actually following the law. And Zelms fails to mention that the circuit court which overturned the board’s decision has on it family members of a candidate running against Chris Hursey, whose petitions were also challenged – and upheld by the same court. If that court can make an unbiased, non-political decision based in law despite having close contacts with interested parties, shouldn’t the same conclusion be applied to a review board constituted according to state law? I can’t help wondering if members of the court might have contributed to some political campaign – quite legally, I might add – as I’m sure Zelms did for Herb Roach’s campaign.
Everyone has the right to support a candidate of his or her choice, even if you’re the mayor, the clerk, or an alderman.
Charles Pitts, Lebanon