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Objection dropped to Dist. 15 petitions
By Kimberly Pohl | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 6/2/2010 12:00 AM

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An attempt to block the petition putting Palatine Township Elementary District 15's proposed $27 million bond sale into voters' hands has been called off.

Attorney James Nally on Tuesday said his clients, Palatine residents Susan MacDonald and Theodore Grabbe, are formally dropping their objection.

According to their joint statement, "... the remaining signatures on the petition appear to be in sufficient numbers to put the question to a proper vote of the people."

The next step is for the District 15 school board to decide whether to move forward with the bond issue and hope for voter approval on the November ballot, or scrap the loan all together and wait a year, board member Tim Millar said.

A vote could potentially take place at the Wednesday, June 9 board meeting because the agenda has yet to be released.

Until the announcement that the objection was dropped, District 15's electoral board was scheduled to meet Thursday to hear evidence and decide on the petition's validity.

Nally had already conceded that the petition proponents collected more than the required minimum of 6,339 valid signatures. Last month, both sides met at the Cook County Clerk's Office to compare all 7,500 signatures to the voter registration database.

Nally said he instead planned to argue that the petition was filed two days late and that organizers used an improper petition form. Attorney Richard Means, who's representing principal petition proponent Mary Vanek, responded that the argument had no merit.

In the end, the objectors stated their main goal was to ensure there were enough valid signatures by registered voters living in District 15. MacDonald and Grabbe said more than 840 signatures were declared ineligible, making their concerns and call for a petition review well-founded and necessary.

Their statement also included a warning that "outside influences" shouldn't have a vote in school district affairs.

"Quality education decisions for our children should not be made in an atmosphere of electioneering and propagandizing," the statement read.

Millar, one of the three board members who voted against the $27 million bond issue, said he's glad the electoral board won't have to meet to rule on the petition.

"It would have been nice to do that (drop the objection) sooner and save everybody some money, but it's always a good idea to make sure the signatures are valid," Millar said.