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posted: 1/12/2013 8:00 AM

Arlington park board candidate faces objection

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An 18-year-old Buffalo Grove High School student is facing an objection to his candidacy for the Arlington Heights Park District board by opponents questioning the validity of signatures on his nominating petition.

The objection to Jona Augustyn's petition was filed by park board President Maryfran Leno, Vice President Myles Naughton and Tim Gelinas. Leno and Gelinas also are running for one of three available seats in the April 9 election.

"It's nothing personal, it's just making sure that everything was done correctly," Leno said of the objection. "It is a complicated process."

A minimum 125 signatures from registered voters living in the park district was required on this year's petitions. Augustyn's included 129 signatures, but the objection questions the validity of 26 of them.

The objection challenges whether 12 of the signatures belong to residents or registered voters of the district. Fourteen more signatures are in question because they're printed, not signed.

Leno said the objection also questions the notarization of Augustyn's petition. She said he was about to turn in the petition on Dec. 26 with it already signed and dated Dec. 24, but without notarization.

When this was pointed out, she said, he went away and came back with the notarization. However, the date of his signature was still Dec. 24. A notary is supposed to witness the signature being written, she said.

A hearing on the objection is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15, in downtown Chicago.

If Augustyn is removed from the ballot, there would be an uncontested race for the three available seats on the board. Also running is William Ploger, a member of the group Arlington Heights People For Our Parks which Gelinas helped start.

Leno said she's made a point of always checking the validity of park district nominating petitions because would-be candidates can get away with following almost no rules at all as long as no one else files an objection.

Augustyn could not be reached for comment Friday.

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