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04/03/87 In Re Petition To Change the Form of Government of the

April 3, 1987

IN RE PETITION TO CHANGE THE FORM OF GOVERNMENT OF THE VILLAGE OF MAYWOOD (GRADY CASTON,


APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, THIRD DIVISION

Petitioner-Appellant, v.

The Village of Maywood et al., Objectors-Appellees)

507 N.E.2d 151, 154 Ill. App. 3d 754, 107 Ill. Dec. 487 1987.IL.438

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Francis Barth, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

PRESIDING JUSTICE McNAMARA delivered the opinion of the court. RIZZI and WHITE, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE MCNAMARA

Petitioner Grady Caston requested the circuit court of Cook County to cause a proposition regarding a change in the form of government to be presented to the electors of the village of Maywood. The trial court dismissed the petition after sustaining the objections presented by objectors Harlan D. Mayberry, as elector and village manager; Robert Scales, as elector and village trustee; and Marcia Scales, as resident and elector. Petitioner appeals, contending that the objectors had no standing to challenge the petition because their objections were not timely filed and that the trial court erred in finding the petition insufficient as a matter of law. This court granted petitioner's request for an expedited hearing. On March 23, 1987, this court entered an order affirming the trial court judgment and stating that an opinion would follow.

On January 16, 1987, petitioner filed a petition in the trial court for certification for a vote on April 7, 1987, on the question of whether the electors of Maywood wished to adopt the "strong mayor" form of government. On January 17, petitioner sent to the Maywood village clerk and mayor notice that a hearing regarding the petition would be held on January 27. No information was included regarding the filing of objections to the petition. On January 21, petitioner caused a notice to be published in a Maywood newspaper, stating that a hearing would be held on January 27 and that all objections must be made on or before the January 27 hearing.

On January 27, the objectors appeared, orally stated their objections, and requested time to file written objections. The trial court entered an order continuing the cause to February 2 and permitting objections to be filed at that time.

On January 29, written objections were filed. These objections challenged the number of valid signatures on the petition, the residency of certain circulators of the petition, the failure to bring the petition under the Election Code provision relating to referendums in home rule municipalities, and the failure to include in the petition a proposition regarding the abandonment of the present form of government in Maywood.

On February 2, a hearing was held and petitioner contended that the objectors lacked standing to challenge the petition because the objections had not been filed in a timely manner. The trial court found that the objections were properly filed, that notice of the hearing on the petition was in accordance with the statutory requirement, and that the petition was insufficient in law because it failed to include a proposition to retain or abandon the managerial form of government. The court made no specific rulings as to the remaining objections. The court entered an order sustaining the objections and dismissing the petition.

Petitioner first contends that objectors have no standing to object to the sufficiency of the petition because the objections were not filed on or before the January 27 hearing. Petitioner relies upon section 28-4 of the Illinois Election Code, which provides that the trial court shall conduct a "hearing and entertain all objections as may be properly presented on or before such hearing date." Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 46, par. 28-4.

In determining the legislative intent of this statute, we must look to the whole statute and consider all relevant parts. (See Village of Woodridge v. County of Du Page (1986), 144 Ill. App. 3d 953, 494 N.E.2d 1262.) In addition to providing for an initial hearing during which the court could entertain objections, section 28 -- 4 also permits the trial court to conduct "further hearings as necessary to a decision on ...


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