The Cook County Electoral Board tossed 18-year-old Jona Augustyn from the Arlington Heights Park District ballot, making it an uncontested race for the three open seats on the district’s board of commissioners.
The decision came after others objected to Augustyn’s petition due to faulty signatures, and improper notarization and binding for his December filing to run in the April 9 election.
The Buffalo Grove High School student previously said he wanted to get involved in the community by running for office. Augustyn could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday evening.
Earlier this month, three people filed objections against Augustyn’s candidate petition, including the park board President Maryfran Leno, park board Vice President Myles Naughton and Tim Gelinas. Leno and Gelinas are both candidates in the race.
Their objection cited four violations. Some signatures were accused of being printed instead of signed, and others are claimed to be from faulty, out-of-district or incomplete addresses.
Augustyn said he went to the library, and door to door for neighbors, asking for signatures. He said he wasn’t aware any of the signatures could be faulty.
The objection also said the candidate papers were improperly notarized, weren’t bound together as required and that Augustyn listed the park district headquarters as his home address.
On Thursday, the Cook County Electoral Board sustained the objection to Augustyn’s candidacy following two hearings and a records examination. The three-member electoral board is made of representatives from the offices of the county clerk, state’s attorney and circuit court clerk, said Courtney Greve, a spokeswoman with the Cook County Clerk’s office.
Gelinas said he went to both hearings and the records examination and that Augustyn did not appear at any of the proceedings.
“He didn’t show up. How genuine was his desire to run?” Gelinas said. Augustyn said he missed one of the proceedings due to school.
Leno could not be reached for comment Thursday, but Naughton said they all have to meet the same standards.
"I don’t know him. I’ve never met him. He has not been to any meetings," Naughton said. "I can’t comment on him personally, that’s all I can tell you. I will say that all of us have to abide by the rules and the process in place and it’s clear he didn’t do that."
Both sitting board members previously commended Augustyn for wanting to get involved with the park district. All of the objectors said the issue wasn’t personal, citing state rules.
In a previous interview, Leno said: “If you want to be an elected official of a taxing body with a $25 million operating budget, then everyone should dot their I’s and cross their T’s. It’s certainly not personal. I don’t even know him.”
The newly uncontested race for the three open Park District commissioner seats will now be filled by Leno, Gelinas and H. William Ploger. Long-time commissioners Robert Smith and Robert Whisler are retiring from the board.