Resident disputes village’s legal advice

JOHNSBURG – If Johnsburg residents want to elect their village clerk, they need to gather enough signatures to put a question on the ballot.

That’s according to a letter from the village administrator to Maggie Haney, a longtime Johnsburg resident who’s running to unseat the current village president. The letter cites the village attorney.

Haney said she thinks the village attorney is wrong and she doesn’t plan to drop the issue.

“I have to tell you that’s the most unsubstantiated legal battle I’ve ever seen,” she said. “I’m embarrassed that this is the legal advice the village is receiving.”

Haney is the president of Haney Construction, which primarily works in remodeling. She’s currently studying to become a registered medical assistant.

The brief, five-line letter doesn’t cite specific statutes, and Haney said her research has led her to a different conclusion.

While a petition is one way to get the question on the ballot, Haney said she doesn’t think it’s the only way. She wants the Johnsburg Village Board to adopt a resolution putting the question on this April’s ballot.

The deadline for municipalities to put referendum questions on the ballot is Tuesday.

The Village Board doesn’t have that authority, Village Attorney Michael Smoron told the board at its last meeting. The letter sent to Haney this week reiterates that.

Haney said she plans to attend Johnsburg’s meeting this evening and bring up the issue again. If the board still doesn’t go for it, she said she hopes to continue advocating for the resolution as village president.

At this point, her plans do not include pursuing the petition option.

If you go

The Johnsburg Village Board meets at 7:30 p.m. today at the Johnsburg Village Hall, 1515 Channel Beach. Ave.

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