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Article updated: 8/18/2012 3:12 PM

Arguments on proposed Island Lake referendum question to be heard Aug. 27

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Arguments regarding a disputed effort to ask voters in Island Lake about an evolving village hall construction plan will be heard on Monday, Aug. 27.

The village's three-member electoral board began proceedings Friday regarding an objection to the validity of signatures and other issues regarding a proposed advisory referendum posed for the Nov. 6 ballot.

But as explained by Keri-Lyn J. Krafthefer, the initial session was to adopt preliminary rules for the proceeding and discuss the process. The first step is for the objector, Daniel Field, to contact the Lake and McHenry County clerks to verify the registration status and compare contested signatures. The village straddles both counties.

"This board has no materials before it regarding the validity of the signatures," she said. "The board has to conduct an evidentiary hearing."

About a dozen people, mainly supporters of the advisory referendum, attended the meeting at the village hall and left disappointed they weren't able to make their case.

"I'm here to just speak the truth and move forward," said Mark Beeson, a village resident who said he gathered 340 signatures on petitions during a recent two-day period.

He organized the petition drive because of concerns about a plans being discussed for a new village building in Water Tower Park that also could include a police station, community center and other facilities.

Field is the co-owner of a company doing computer-related work for the village. He says the petition papers contain less than 245 "validly collected" signatures of registered voters and wants many of the signatures to be disqualified because of various irregularities.

That include some he claims appeared to be forged. He also charges that fraud may have been committed in that residents were "misled and intimidated" to obtain their signatures.

"I've worked here (and) lived here for 20 years," Kim Hildebrand, who said her signature was being questioned, told the electoral board. "Nobody has every questioned my signature until now and I want to know why. I think it's rude."

Beeson and others asked that the hearing be scheduled during the evening hours. The board, consisting of Chairman/Mayor Debbie Herrmann, Village Clerk Connie Mascillino and village Trustee Thea Morris, scheduled it for 11 a.m. on Aug. 27.

Krafthefer said the matter needs to be resolved quickly, as county clerks must certify the ballot by Aug. 29.

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