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Special vote now set for Board of Supervisors seat

BY SCOTT RAYNOR | NOVEMBER 16, 2009 7:22 AM

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Despite being recently appointed a Johnson County supervisor, Janelle Rettig will now face competition to hold her position in a special election.

“If people want to vote, that is perfectly fine,” she said. “I am looking forward to a lot of forums.”

The Johnson County auditor, treasurer and recorder appointed Rettig on Oct. 30 after the Sept. 22 death of Supervisor Larry Meyers. A group, led by Solon resident Lori Cardella, recently filed a petition for a special election, and the county has set Jan. 19 as the election date.

Each political party will nominate one candidate for the election; any additional independent candidates would have to garner 250 signatures on a petition.

Johnson County Auditor Tom Slockett estimated the cost of the election will be around $75,000.

Cardella had encouraged residents to sign the petition since Sept. 29, and she said she had a hard time attracting additional petitioners two weeks ago as the deadline loomed. Thanks to support from volunteers, though, she exceeded the necessary 7,299 petitioners on Nov. 10.

“She is a highly motivated and spirited person,” Slockett said. “You can’t underestimate people with a strong determination to do something.”

Cardella said about half of her signatures came from UI students.

Even though some students are unaware of the election — and the role of the Johnson County Board of Supervisors — they still feel that an election is ideal.

“If I knew the whos, whats, wheres, whens, and whys, I guess I would vote,” said UI sophomore Kenita Gonzales. “If the people feel very strongly about the election, they should allow it to take place.”

However, all of the 22 UI students interviewed by the DI said they would not vote in the special election.

Cardella said she was able to gain support with the appointment of Rettig; she cited a conflict of interest concerning her appointment because the county recorder and auditor endorsed her campaign for the board last June. This, on top of citizens’ preference for elections over appointments, fueled the interest in the special election, she said.

“It is all about maintaining our right to vote,” she said. “That was the very core of the drive for me.”


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