Macomb aldermen decided against reviewing whether Steve Wailand is eligible to serve as the city’s new second ward alderman.
Wailand edged incumbent Kay Hill in the February election, 17-to-16, though the result was not made official until a court ruling in the “50% Plus One” case in late April.
The issue of Wailand’s eligibility was raised last month by Hill, who questioned whether Wailand met residency requirements. A majority of the council voted to reject the request, though Fifth Ward Alderman Clay Hinderliter disagreed.
“The council has the authority, power, and resources to hear this case,” said Hinderliter. “We’re big boys, with big boy pants on. Leaders shouldn’t avoid issues like this.”
Hinderliter has quoted city regulations as saying a candidate must be a registered McDonough County voter for one year before the November filing date. However, the rule he is referring to is actually in the Illinois Municipal Code.
Under state code, a candidate is required to live in the city in which he/she is serving for one year and be a registered voter in the city before the next election. However, there is confusion as to whether a person must be registered to vote in the county for a year before filing date.
Wailand filed for voter registration in the county six months before the city election.
Western Illinois University confirms Wailand has lived in Macomb since he entered the school in 2010.