West Chicago woman seeking two elected posts

Donna M. May wants to shake things up in West Chicago, so she's running for not one, but two offices in the April 5 municipal elections.

May, 58, is challenging incumbent Alderman James Beifuss in the city council's Ward 1 and also pursuing a seat on the library board.

“I love West Chicago,” May said. “It's a nice town. I have nice neighbors. The mayor is a nice guy. But they're too complacent in what they do.”

Nevertheless, she might not get the chance to make her case to voters.

West Chicago resident Colon R. York filed an objection this week to May's nominating petitions for city council. The city's electoral board — Mayor Michael Kwasman, City Clerk Nancy Smith and Alderman Ruben Pineda — meets Monday, Jan. 3, to decide if May can stay on the ballot.

The meeting is at 6 p.m. at city hall, 475 Main St.

The resident is challenging whether May can hold both offices simultaneously, as well as the validity of her nominating petitions. She mistakenly put April 5, 2010, instead of 2011 on some of the petitions.

“I did make a mistake on the petitions. I take ownership of that,” May said. “So that's going to kick me out right there. I know this.”

While it's unusual to run for two offices in the same election, there doesn't appear to be a conflict in serving on both the city council and the library board, Kwasman said. And whether the two elected positions are incompatible is actually outside the scope of the electoral board, said Patrick Bond, attorney for West Chicago.

“The dates (on May's petitions), that's another story, of course,” Kwasman said.

May, a former library employee who has lived in the city for 15 years, is fairly well-known in West Chicago. “I go to stuff... I walk in the parades, I carry a banner that says Winfield Township Democrats, I'm the library lady.”

While the library is her “passion,” May said she decided to run for alderman out of frustration with how the city is run.

“It's a good old boys club, and I'm not a good old boy,” she said.

“Their attitude among themselves is they establish things before they go to meetings and it's a done deal,” she said. “I just got a little tired of it.”

She said she would like to see more discussion at meetings and for the city to stop buying so much property.

“Ten years Beifuss has been my alderman, and he's never graced my doorstep. Dude, what's going on? They don't want to talk with you.”

If she is kicked off the city council ballot, May said she plans to run again in two years. Next time, she'll be sure to put the right year on the petitions.

“If I don't get on (the ballot), at least I shook them up, because they're awful vanilla over there,” she said.

  Donna May of West Chicago expects to find out Jan. 3 whether she will remain on the ballot for alderman in West Chicago. Suzanne Caraker/