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Caucus Endorses Slate for Mayor, Board

All Deerfield voters will have the opportunity to ratify or change the slate at Dec. 4 Town Hall Meeting.

Mayor Harriet Rosenthal and two incumbent Village Board of Trustees members were endorsed for reelection today by the Deerfield Village Caucus as part of the official slate in the April 9 municipal elections.

Rosenthal, who was the only mayoral candidate to seek Caucus backing, got the nod along with Trustees Alan Farkas and Barbara Struthers. Rob Nadler was endorsed over incumbent Mary Oppenheim and Jim Moyer. Oppenheim has told Patch last month she will run for reelection.

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Nadler and Moyer are currently members of the Deerfield Planning Commission while Moyer has served on the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Trustees Robert Benton, William Seiden and Tom Jester are in the middle of their current terms.

The proposed lineup will either be approved or modified during the Town Meeting at 7 p.m. Dec. 4 at Caruso Middle School. Anyone who has submitted to the Caucus process can be nominated from the floor as part of the slate, according to Rosenthal. All candidates will be introduced.

The Caucus has been part of the Village’s nominating process since 1956. Rosenthal and the five Village Board candidates submitted written questionnaires and were interviewed. The questionnaires and interviews can be seen on the organization’s website.

Participation in the Caucus process or getting its endorsement is not a requirement for candidacy.  People who want to run for either office as well as openings on the Board must collect the requisite number of signatures on nominating petitions. Petitions are due no earlier than Dec. 17 and no later than Dec. 24.

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Walter White November 21, 2012 at 05:59 PM
More of the same, Deerfield. Enjoy. Ugh.
Bringin' Down Briarwood November 22, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Steve, as a relatively new resident, i'd also love to see a little insight into the caucus. How many people show up? What is their experience? What in their background gives them the expertise to guide our choice on candidates? Also, I gotta say, it doesn't give me a whole lot of confidence in the caucus process that they release their choice on a dead news day when the whole world is traveling or preparing for tomorrow.
Bringin' Down Briarwood November 22, 2012 at 01:07 AM
For those interested in the direction of the village, take a few minutes to read the answers provided by the candidates. There was one I really thought was perfect for what is needed, but I'll keep my mouth shut about that. Rosenthal's passive answers really bothered me. Nooooooot a whole lot of proactive goals. I'd like to see something more substantial than "very high on my agenda," "I remain in close touch," and " I am fully acquainted" but maybe that's just me.
Walter White November 22, 2012 at 01:17 AM
Caucuses are typically volunteer organizations. You would hope to get a good cross section of the area, but there are no guarantees. http://deerfieldcaucus.org/
Bringin' Down Briarwood November 22, 2012 at 04:29 AM
So let me get this straight. Petitions for candidacy are due between Dec 17 and the 24th, but the caucus goes ahead on its own schedule to offer it endorsements ahead of time? Anybody else find that extremely odd? I might even go as far to say it's a pretty backroom way to peddle some influence. Keep in mind that according to the caucus web site: a) In early January of odd-numbered years, the Advisory Council calls a Town Meeting for the purpose of selecting candidates to be placed on the April ballot. b) Nominations at the Town Meeting are limited to persons who presented themselves to the Nominating Committee during the fall meetings (so this is it despite whoever may submit their signatures in the next several weeks). c) Individuals not selected by the caucus process can also run for election as independents. So anyone who has taken a political science 101 class knows independents are behind the eight ball. Joe and Janet Voter who aren't paying attention walk up to the voting booth, see a big "I" next to the independent candidate and generally won't vote for them. Admittedly, I'm probably you-know-whating in the wind about this one. But it's pretty obvious this process wields some power. Sure would like to know more about it, since my understanding is that the same people have done it for years. And considering the direction of the village, my guess is that they are part of the issue.
Harrietisapig November 22, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Harriet is a pig. She has done such great damage to this community.
Bringin' Down Briarwood November 23, 2012 at 06:10 PM
What a shame this has been banished two clicks back. This is something that SHOULD be discussed and highlighted. Do we really need several days of highlighting the tree lot or the favorite Thanksgiving food poll?
Bringin' Down Briarwood November 23, 2012 at 06:18 PM
To highlight the importance of this caucus process, how important it is to the candidates and how screwy it is that there's potential for all the candidates NOT to be represented at the caucus, here's part of an e-mail I received this morning from one of the trustees ... "Our version of a primary election for Deerfield's Village Board will take place on Tuesday, December 4, at 7pm, at Caruso Junior High. ... Obviously, the party endorsement carries a lot of weight in the April elections. ... without your support, I may lose the advantage of the caucus endorsement." As I said, pretty important but awfully weird to hold it at a time when potentially all the candidates are not on the ballot. Cute little club the village is conducting here.
Eric Hogberg November 25, 2012 at 05:56 AM
Hi again, Briarwood...this is Eric Hogberg, chair of Caucus Advisory. Saw your comments on the article and am writing to try and clear up some of the concerns your raise. First, and most importantly...there's no "club" activity going on with the Caucus. I see and hear this claim raised more times than I care to recall and there is absolutely no foundation to it. *Any* Deerfield resident can run for Mayor or Trustee, Caucus-reviewed/endorsed or no. There have been (and will be in the future) board members who are not Caucus endorsed, nor have even sought endorsement. Any one interested in running for public office that fulfills basic citizenship and residency requirements can do so by filling out and filing appropriate paperwork with Lake County. What the Caucus *does* do is several things. First, and foremost, it assesses candidates via its interview process. Interviews have no legal or statutory binding component to them; they are conducted by a nominating committee of Deerfield residents. The nominating committee forms every two years and roughly 2/3rds of its membership is new to the process each cycle. 1/3 of the membership is holdover from the prior cycle. No one, under any circumstances, serves more than two consecutive terms on nominating committee. After interviews are completed, the committee may then endorse a number of candidates. (Running up against Patch's comment length limit; more in subsequent comment...)
Eric Hogberg November 25, 2012 at 06:07 AM
(continued from previous...) The subsequent Town Meeting offers any voting citizen of Deerfield the opportunity to do several things: meet the various candidates in person, ask questions of them and, ultimately, choose a slate of candidates, one for each open position, that will appear on the spring election ballot. Endorsement by the nominating committee is no guarantee of inclusion on the final slate; slates have been mixed with endorsed and non-endorsed candidates before. The only restriction on slate eligibility is that everyone on the final ballot slate must have appeared before the nominating committee. This is the only restriction the Caucus places and it, frankly, is a reasonable one; it guarantees that whoever ends up on the Caucus slate has undergone the vetting activities designed to allow the Deerfield electorate some insight into their experience and positions. (comment limit approaching; one more comment and I'm done....)
Eric Hogberg November 25, 2012 at 06:21 AM
(continued from previous....last one, I promise.) The balloting dates in December you reference are the state-mandated deadlines for filing the statutory paperwork that places candidates on the spring ballot; they have absolutely nothing to do with Caucus endorsement. For many years, this deadline was in January; the state of Illinois changed this to December two years ago. I and most of the Caucus Advisory wish we still worked under the January deadline, since it offers more time for all of this assessment and town voting to take place, but those are the rules we have to play by. It does leads to sub-optimal situations such as announcing endorsements on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, but there's a lot that has to happen between the 12/4 town meeting and the filing deadline. We make the best choices we can and try to work with the situation given us. The walk-away I hope you (and other patient readers who have followed along this far) take is that there is nothing hidden, nothing privileged, nothing "club"-ish, as you call it, about the work the Caucus does. It is run by ordinary Deerfield residents who give generously of their time and energy to assess qualified candidates for public office and to set up a framework any Deerfield voter can use to learn more about the candidates who agree to participate. They do good, civic work which benefits everyone in the village. I hope we'll see you at the town meeting on 12/4.
Bringin' Down Briarwood November 25, 2012 at 08:14 AM
My bad, Eric. Originally, I wrote a cheap response with several questions. Then I googled the State Board of Elections Caucus guide and saw all the dates you are beholden to. My apologies because my uneducated statements were made with the idea that these are arbitrary dates set by the caucus advisory. Having said that, it's unfortunate that the process is the way it is because it leaves that tiny opening that some candidate may not be included.

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