Four remain on Westchester Park Board ballot
Updated: February 19, 2013 1:22PM
WESTCHESTER — Three Westchester Park Board candidates will remain on the ballot for the April 9 election, after challenges to their nominating petitions were dismissed.
Errors were found at a hearing Jan. 15 in Chicago on the candidacy statements but not the petitions of incumbents Dominic Luciano and Derek Gordon and challenger Steven Bernasek. The three and newcomer Joseph De Falco are vying for two four-year terms.
Bernasek filed objections Jan. 3 that Luciano and Gordon listed the village of Westchester, rather than the park district, on their candidacy statements, though the correct office was on nominating petitions signed by residents.
Bernasek said he thought the distinction was important because the park district includes portions of Hillside and doesn’t have the same boundaries as the village.
After learning about the challenge, Luciano said he filed an objection to Bernasek’s paperwork because the date of the election wasn’t listed on the candidacy statement.
Luciano, seeking his eighth term, said he’s never been challenged or had an issue with his paperwork, and he welcomes the opportunity to let voters decide the election.
“The people know what you do, and if they want you, they vote you in,” he said. “I’d rather have an election every time.”
Luciano said his record speaks for itself, and he’s proud to have helped build a fitness center, recreation building, indoor playground, new baseball fields and a skate park while maintaining the district’s financial stability.
Bernasek said he was “going by the rule book” in challenging the candidacy of the two incumbents, rather than seeking an uncontested election. Although he hasn’t yet attended a Park Board meeting, he said he wants to become more involved after moving to Westchester in 2010 and running a business there since 2002.
Bernasek also filed to run for a seat on the Westchester Public Library Board, but he withdrew his candidacy.