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New rules restrict residency of Oswego School Board members

Updated: January 14, 2013 6:06PM

OSWEGO — It could be a complicated race for school board seats in Oswego this spring.

The Oswego School District has announced restrictions on who will be allowed to run for one of the four open seats, based on residency, in the April 2013 election.

Until now, Oswego School Board members have been elected at-large from around the district.

But according to an announcement from the School District, at least one board member elected this April must reside in an unincorporated area in the district.

Following a ruling from the Illinois State Board of Education and the Kendall County Regional Office of Education, an Illinois School Code statute requires that at least two Oswego School Board members reside in unincorporated areas.

Both board member Laurie Pasteris, whose seat is up for election in April, and board member Alison Swanson, whose term expires in 2015, live in unincorporated areas of the district.

The ruling came after confusion about rules concerning limits on the number of school board members that could come from any one township.

“The statute on its face is very confusing,” said Maureen Lemon, attorney representing the board. “It’s been determined the correct ballot format requires that two people must be on the board from an unincorporated area. The ballot format regarding township restrictions is not applicable at this time.”

The April ballot will have two separate races — one for incorporated candidates, and another for candidates in unincorporated areas.

Should no one from an unincorporated area run, said Lemon, the position would be appointed by the school board and regional superintendent. About a dozen candidates had picked up packets from the Oswego School District’s administrative offices as of late last week, according to Superintendent Matthew Wendt.

Filing for the election began Monday and continues until 5 p.m. Dec. 26.

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