Local Election

Incumbent nixes Johnsburg debates

JOHNSBURG – The incumbent village president in Johnsburg does not want to participate in a debate.

Resident Maggie Haney called for a debate after her opponent, incumbent Village President Ed Hettermann, declined to attend a joint meeting with the Northwest Herald Editorial Board.

“I have no desire to participate in a forum through which she will only attempt to further mislead our residents,” Hettermann said in an email. “Her motivations are clear and they most certainly do not serve the best interest of the citizens of Johnsburg.”

Hettermann said Haney’s candidacy is related to the ongoing litigation between her and the village.

Haney offered Friday to take the litigation off the table for any debate and, “in the spirit of cooperation and commitment to the residents of Johnsburg,” not to talk about the case or issue any news releases about it until after the election.

She signed a pledge and asked Hettermann to do the same.

In going door-to-door, Haney said, she has been listening to residents talk about issues that concern them, including potholes and garbage bills, and has been collecting surveys.

She wants to shift the conversation to those topics, she said.

What if a resident asked her about the litigation?

“I think it’s one thing for a resident to ask me about it,” she responded. “It’s another thing for the village of Johnsburg to put a press release on their website.”

The village, authorized by Hettermann, put a news release on the village’s website two weeks ago.

The release said accusations leveled by Haney at a board meeting the evening before were retaliation against the village for the ongoing lawsuit.

Hettermann said the release had nothing to do with the election but was in the interest of transparency.

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