After Harper College board winner leaves town, incumbent takes his spot

  • Harper College board members sworn in Wednesday include Student Trustee Niki Safakas, from left, and Trustees Walt Mundt, Herb Johnson and Pat Stack. They were given the oath of office by college attorney Phil Gerner.

      Harper College board members sworn in Wednesday include Student Trustee Niki Safakas, from left, and Trustees Walt Mundt, Herb Johnson and Pat Stack. They were given the oath of office by college attorney Phil Gerner. Christopher Placek | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 4/27/2017 6:09 PM

Though he lost his re-election bid, Harper College Trustee Walt Mundt was reappointed by his colleagues after the candidate who beat him moved out of town.

Mundt, of Palatine, finished third in a three-way race for two seats on the board, but second-place finisher Phil Collins announced the day after the election that he and his wife had just moved to Las Vegas, where she took a job as a church pastor. Collins, formerly of Wheeling, said they found out only after ballots had been printed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

That left it up to the board of trustees to appoint someone to fill Collins' seat for two years. On Wednesday, board members decided unanimously to go with Mundt, who was the next highest vote recipient.

Pat Stack, a Barrington resident appointed to the board in 2015, was the top vote-getter for a 6-year term. On Wednesday, she was chosen by her colleagues to serve as board vice chair -- the position Mundt previously occupied.

Mundt, first elected in 2011, can be appointed to his new seat for only two years under state law. That seat would be up for election for a 4-year term in 2019.

Also sworn in this week was Herb Johnson of Inverness, who ran unopposed for a 2-year seat, and Student Trustee Niki Safakas, a 19-year-old Schaumburg High School graduate who was elected by the student body to serve a one-year term. The student trustee position carries an advisory vote.

Greg Dowell of Palatine was reappointed as board chair.

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