DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) – Some voters in the Danville School District believe the April election was “incomplete.” They’re asking the board how they’ll fill an open seat that wasn’t on the ballot.
There’s a two-year unexpired term seat left open, but no candidates petitioned to fill it. Now that election day has passed, the community wants to know how the board will appoint a new member.
“What we want is some credibility from this board saying ‘yeah, we made a mistake, we’re going to fix it,'” former board member Tom Mellen said during public comment at an April 26 meeting.
Mellen is one of several people who spoke up at last week’s District 118 meeting.
“We want to have some say in the people on that board. There are a lot of different things going on with you guys, lots of them concern me,” Mellen said.
Speakers pointed out an unexpired 2-year term seat that didn’t appear on the ballot last month.
“Obviously, there was confusion, but the ultimate responsibility is in your hands,” one speaker asked on April 26.
That speaker wants to know how it happened and how they can prevent the same mistake in the future.
“It is my observation that the reason no one petitioned for the two-year term is that no one knew at the time that there was a two-year term. I wonder if even the board knew there was a two year term at the time,” he said.
Among those speakers was alderman Ed Butler.
“I truly believe that this fourth seat should go to the next person that has the most votes,” Butler said in the meeting.
Since election day has passed, he’s asking the board to appoint the candidate with the next highest number of votes, Tierra Brown.
“If you’re really going to listen to the people and have confidence in the people, she should get the seat,” Butler told WCIA.
Butler says if the situation is handled improperly, it could make the community feel overlooked.
“People get discouraged. Why should we go out and vote? Folks are going to make their decision anyhow,” Butler said.
Board President Randal Ashton addressed the issue during the meeting, saying they don’t have the official results yet.
“I was going to go over what we were going to do about the open seat but now that we’ve got all these comments, we’ll go back to the drawing board,” Ashton said on April 26.
Ashton said there was an “oversight” but took responsibility.
“Yeah, it’s on me. The open seat – I’ll take that if that’s the case because I’m the president. I apologize that that happened,” Ashton said on April 26.
He assured everyone the board will do what it can to rectify the situation and said they’ll make a decision at the next meeting, which takes place May 10.
“Just be prepared, whoever you are out there – someone’s going to be upset about this. I can’t make everybody happy,” Ashton said on April 26.
Neither Ashton nor Brown responded to WCIA’s requests for comment.