While this letter contains a lot of complex and interwoven background to it (Kohlstedt is also the Village Clerk for Midlothian and Rybak is the Mayor of Midlothian), I hope the fundamental point is clear.
Two local government officials with the Midlothian Park District are trying to stay 2 extra years (720 days) in office by unfairly and unreasonably manipulating the system from both the inside and the outside. This is my way of saving everyone a FOIA request should they be interested in the content.
You can clearly see the sign-off of Sharon Rybak for two candidates, Charles “Chuck” Nielsen” and Michael Kohlstedt on both the unofficial and official ballot proofs. Two chances to catch the mistake and twice it was missed. That’s not my fault. That’s not your fault. That’s not Cook County Clerk David Orr’s Office fault. That’s not the Illinois Board of Elections fault. Sharon Rybak screwed up and now this group of people is expecting the entire nation to accept their argument that the certified results all of us can see are wrong and that they are right with nothing but invisible evidence supporting the position.
This is a textbook case of elected officials manipulating the system from the inside to unfairly influence the outcome of an election…to AVOID LOSING THEIR SEATS IN A FAIR ELECTION! These two people know the people of Midlothian are fed up with their behaviors and they’ve known it since the 2015 election season.
As every day is Thanksgiving, today I am once again thankful I live in Midlothian, Illinois, United States of America for all of the right reasons.
PLEASE SHARE THIS INFORMATION WITH EVERYONE YOU KNOW! What happens here will someday influence YOUR LOCAL ELECTIONS ONE WAY OR ANOTHER!
As I believe I have exhausted all paths available to me to this point, I am in need to plead for immediate legal relief for the people of the Village of Midlothian in connection with the 2017 elections.
The voters elected Michael Kohlstedt and Charles “Chuck” Nielsen each to a 4 year term and yet through an elongated and complex manipulation of the system, they are trying to add 2 years to what the voters actually voted for.
Please do not ask the people of the Great State of Illinois to accept a 720 day difference in length of office as nothing more than a mislabeling that accidentally got certified and then expect every single person across the nation to accept the verbal word of a municipal lawyer the election results were unsealed and sealed without documentation because someone doesn’t like what the error represents in reality.
My greatest fear is that I have delayed too long in my outreach efforts to bring crystal clarity to this matter as the date for filing petitions is fast approaching, but remain hopeful that somehow your office can find reason to at least look into this matter briefly. I couldn’t even get a document stating that the Park District thinks this is a matter of mislabeling and at least two Commissioners were not given any written notice from the Park District lawyer as to his legal opinion. It also is my understanding this matter was never offered up to the board for discussion in either executive session or during a regular meeting.
The facts are as follows:
- Illinois statutes establish a full term for a Park District to be 6 years by default and with room for exceptions at the discretion of the district.
- Those who signed the nominating petitions for current President Michael Kohlstedt and Commissioner Charles “Chuck” Nielsen could clearly see the words “full term” circled and the space for number of years left blank.
- Those who voted using the 2013 ballot for the Park District could clearly see the words “4 year term” written across the ballot.
- It has been and remains the official position of the Park District via Secretary Sharon Rybak that this is a matter of mislabeling and should be dismissed.
I noticed this discrepancy online in February 2016 and immediately brought to the attention of Mrs. Rybak. I even made the request to see ballot proofs from the 2013 election and was ignored.
A short time later, I was informed by Mrs. Rybak that Park District attorney Medard Narko had passed along to her his conclusion that the matter was nothing more than a typo and in the process of being “fixed.”
From time to time over the summer months, I would inquire with a Commissioner or two to see if proof of this error being “fixed” and was consistently informed Mr. Narko was working on the matter.
As personal matters had me step away from this issue for a few months, it is now November and instead of things being better, they have only gotten worse.
Rather than cluttering my effort to secure immediate redress of my grievance from your office, this seems to be a very black and white situation. Even if it was a typographical error, Mrs. Rybak approved the ballot proofs, which affixed the error as fact and this fact was eventually certified by Cook County Clerk David Orr.
Therefore, it is my continued position that the Park District’s reliance on the words “full term” being circled on the petition:
- Clearly does not and cannot supersede what the voters voted on and what has been clearly certified by the County Clerk
- What is on the petition is irrelevant due to the opportunity to proof the ballots before they went to print. The error escaped the attention of Mrs. Rybak and that is that.
- The District’s assertion State law dictates 6 years cannot be applied after-the-fact and in hindsight and should have been applied at the time of proof-reading the ballot proofs.
- The District’s obstruction of these public documents, including no 2013 ballot proof being provided upon request yesterday and multiple obstructions to viewing their ordinance book violates fundamental Equal Access to Justice principles. I was informed both yesterday and today all I was allowed to view was what they called an index and then they would pull the original ordinance for my viewing upon request. Even this circumstance would be absurd if I personally had not faced a similar travesty with the Village of Midlothian and was in need of Heather Kimmons help to see their book back in the late 2000’s.
It remains my unwavering belief this determination made back in February by the Midlothian Park District has continued to corrupt the right of the people of Midlothian to have full access to all germane information pertaining to the 2017 election, including but not limited to having confidence as to what seats are available.
Thank you in advance for your time and consideration into this matter!
Facebook @MidlothianValerieUSA and Advanced Midlothian Politics (Facebook)