Harper College board winner moves out of town, withdraws
One of the winners of the Harper College board election said Wednesday he won't serve because he has moved out of town.
Phil Collins finished second in balloting in a three-way race for two seats on the board. Each is for a 6-year term.
According to unofficial totals, incumbent Pat Stack was the top vote-getter with 23,011, Collins had 17,079, and current board Vice Chairman Walt Mundt had 13,695.
But Collins said he and his wife just moved to Las Vegas, where she took a job as a church pastor. She received notice of the job offer Jan. 29, her husband said, which was three days after the last day to file withdrawal of candidacy paperwork with local election officials.
Ballots were already printed, but Collins said he notified the college last week he was withdrawing from the race.
Harper spokeswoman Kim Pohl on Wednesday said the college has received only oral notification from Collins and is still awaiting something in writing.
After consulting with college attorneys Wednesday, Harper officials said it would be up to the board of trustees to appoint someone to fill Collins' seat for two years. That seat would be up for election for a 4-year term in 2019.
The new Harper board members are set to be sworn in at a reorganization meeting April 26.
Collins was a Libertyville Township trustee from May 2013 until January 2016 when he moved to Wheeling. He said he sought out an office in a larger area where he could serve more people, though otherwise had little connection to the community college.
Collins is chairman of the conservative Illinois Center Right Coalition. He has led several write-in campaigns for state and local offices, including the Cook County recorder of deeds post in November.
He said Wednesday he was disappointed he wouldn't be able to take a seat on the Harper board but is glad his wife was able to get a job she has been pursuing for a while. Collins said he would stay involved in politics and hopes to run for office in Nevada.
Newcomer Herb Johnson of Inverness ran unopposed for the 2-year seat Stack is vacating.