Former Alderman Questions Wailand's Residency
A judge ruled Kay Hill lost the election for second ward alderman in Macomb to Western Illinois University student Steve Wailand. But Hill is not giving up her fight over the seat.
Hill told the city council she believed Wailand is not eligible to serve as alderman.
"State law states: a person is not eligible for the office of alderman of a ward unless that person has resided in the ward that he seeks to represent for at least one year preceding the election" said Hill.
A review by Tri States Public Radio indicated Wailand meets that qualification. Wailand just completed his third year at WIU. Dr. Angela Lynn of WIU’s Registrar Office said Wailand lived at Tanner Hall for his first year, then in Henninger Hall, both of which are in the second ward.
Wailand now lives on Orchard Street, which is also in the second ward.
After the meeting, Wailand said it is clear Macomb is his home.
"Whether it be coming to city council meetings, being part of groups, or going to City of Macomb events, I consider myself a resident,” said Wailand.
Mayor Mike Inman acknowledged Hill’s right to address the council on any issue she believes should be brought up. But Inman says it’s his desire to move forward and allow Wailand to serve.
Wailand defeated Hill in the February 26 election, 17 to 16, but was forced to take the matter to court when County Clerk Gretchen DeJaynes declared he failed to meet a threshold of 50% plus one of the votes.
However, that rule is not written in city code, and Judge Rodney Clark ruled on April 26 that Wailand should be declared the winner.
Wailand was sworn into office on May 6.