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updated: 4/21/2014 8:09 PM

21 apply for Elgin council seat

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Twenty-one people have applied to fill a vacant seat on the Elgin City Council.

The applicants are: Michael K. "Big Mike" DeBrocke, Barry Kevin DeLoncker Jr., Craig Dresang, Mitchell Esterino, Gary A. Fagan, Ana M. Gomez, Robert Grens, Herbert Gross, Jaime Hjelm, Mohammad "Mo" Iqbal, Michael Kahn, Alberto Lopez, Rosamaria D. Martinez, Maura Wood Maschinski, Fred H. Moulton, Franklin Ramirez, Michael J. Robins, Julie Ann Schmidt, Aaron B. Sellers, Kevin D. Sherman and John N. Walters.

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The deadline to apply was 5 p.m. Monday. The seat expires in April 2015.

Dresang, DeBrocke and Esterino ran for council seats last year. Robins, who ran unsuccessfully in 2011, said former candidates should be considered first.

"If we spent our own money (to run) and spent the time going to go to all the forums, we should be given higher priority."

The city council will discuss the selection process during open session at its meeting Wednesday, followed by a closed-session discussion about the vacancy.

Elgin Mayor David Kaptain said he doesn't think a candidate will be selected Wednesday. Any appointment would need a five-vote majority.

"I would hope that everybody has a chance to look over the applicants and make an educated decision about what they want to do (at a later meeting)," he said.

Qualifications to fill the seat include being a registered voter, a resident of Elgin for at least one year, not owing taxes or other bills to the city, and not having been convicted of any "infamous crime," bribery, perjury or other felony.

The council voted in closed session April 9 to solicit applications to fill the seat, although it was not a unanimous vote.

Councilmen Toby Shaw, John Prigge and Terri Gavin have said the seat doesn't need to be filled.

Prigge said he'll turn down any candidate. "I'd vote 'no' on my mother," he said. "It's unnecessary, and it's more about selecting a pawn than it is about selecting a councilman."

Former councilwoman Anna Moeller resigned her seat March 30 when she was sworn in as state representative for the 43rd House District. She replaced former state Rep. Keith Farnham, who resigned amid a federal investigation.

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