V.O.T.E. Lake Bluff slates candidates
Village president candidate Kathy O'Hara responds to questions at the V.O.T.E. Lake Bluff town hall meeting to slate candidates for the election in April. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 14, 2013 6:17AM
LAKE BLUFF — It was a clear cool night as Lake Bluff residents trickled into the town hall meeting last week to do their civic duty.
Some sat in chairs lined up on the gym floor at Lake Bluff Middle School, others chose to gather in the bleachers.
V.O.T.E. (Volunteers Organized To Elect) Lake Bluff committee chairmen Ed Duffy and Jim Gillen thanked the residents for attending Dec. 4 and explained the procedures for the official endorsement session.
The slate of candidates for library board, village board and village clerk each had two minutes to introduce themselves and answer a set list of questions — a separate list for each position, with two-minute time limits imposed on their answers. Voting would follow. To be officially slated, each candidate needed to receive at least 51 percent of the votes cast.
All the candidates who received the V.O.T.E. Lake Bluff steering committee preliminary nod at meetings on Nov. 14 and 15 participated and received the required number of votes Dec. 4 and will appear on the ballot in the April 2013 election.
For village board, the candidates are incumbents John Josephitis, Bill Meyer and Kathy O’Hara. O’Hara received the nomination for president, as current Village President Christine Letchinger has reached her two-term limit. Eric Grenier, a newcomer to the village board, also was slated as a trustee candidate.
Barbara Ankenman was nominated as the village clerk candidate.
Only Scott Butler was nominated from the floor. He will run for one of six openings on the library board. In all, there are five V.O.T.E. candidates who will run for the library board: Carole Stroh, who’s running for an unprecedented third term to keep some consistency on the board, she said; incumbents Tim Kregor and Romain Wojda; and newcomer Ruth Schnell.
In the end, all candidates received the required 51 percent of the 67 voters who participated in the town meeting.
While some question has been raised about the caucus system of late, those at the town hall meeting were supportive of the process.
“The town hall process is great,” said Michael Karsten, 26, who follows local government closely. “You can let your voice be heard.”
Eileen Karsten said she was a little disappointed at the low turnout at the meeting.
“We’ve just come off a big Presidential election,” she surmised. “People might be worn out with politics.”
Kate Amaral, who is running for Lake Bluff School District 65 School Board but did not seek that caucus’ endorsement, said she attended the town hall meeting to show her support for the village.
“We don’t have enough people stepping up to take on responsibility for our village,” she said.
Duffy and Gillen encourage any Lake Bluff resident who is a registered voter to get involved by going to the V.O.T.E. Lake Bluff website, www.votelakebluff.org.