Is a slate a political party? The answer could decide fate for 2 Mount Prospect candidates

When Mount Prospect voters approved nonpartisan elections for village trustee and mayor in a binding 2010 referendum, did that mean candidates could not run as a slate?

That is at the heart of a challenge filed this week that aims to kick two village board candidates off the ballot for the April 6 municipal election.

Former Mount Prospect Trustee Steven Polit and resident Tom Manion filed the challenge to trustee hopefuls Terri Gens and Peggy Pissarreck, who plan to run as a slate for two of the three village board seats up for election in April.

Their objection contends that village ordinance requires nonpartisan candidates for board seats. And, they argue, running as a slate is no different from running under the banner of political party.

"To me, you can look all through history," Manion said. "A slate is a party. It's that simple."

Pissarreck disputed that, saying she and Gens are not a party, just two individuals with similar values.

"I did a lot of homework before I decided to run," she said

"We researched our process, and it was legal," Gens added.

On Feb. 2, 2010, Mount Prospect voters approved by binding referendum a format that calls for a nonpartisan, no primary election system for mayor and trustees.

In the lead-up to that referendum, then-Village Manager Michael Janonis received a memo from Village Attorney Everette M. Hill, Jr. that reads, "The elections will be nonpartisan, each person would run as an individual."

Polit said the objection to Gens and Pissarreck is not about the candidates, but the process.

"Clearly the people wanted individual, nonpartisan candidates running at large to run the village," Polit said.

The objection also claims that by filing their petitions together, Gens and Pissarreck violated the signature requirement that each individual file separate nominating petitions to get on the ballot.

Incumbent Trustee Eleni Hatzis also is facing a challenge to her nominating petitions.

The village clerk's office said the challenge was filed by Steven Pissarreck.

Hatzis said she has not received notification of the objection, but she is confident her nomination is legitimate.

The only candidate for the three available seats on the village board who isn't currently facing a challenge is Agostino "Augie" Filippone.

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