GENEVA – When Kevin Burns is sworn in May 6 for his fourth term, he will make history as Geneva’s longest-serving mayor.
That result is one of many significant stories to come out of Tuesday’s election. Also, Jay Moffat, who once sought to be on three ballots, ended up on two and won a spot on the Geneva Park Board.
And Geoffrey M. Carreiro, who was tossed off the ballot for Geneva Township Clerk, ran as a write-in and won by one vote against two others, according to unofficial results.
According to a listing of Geneva’s past mayors posted at City Hall, Oliver Adamson served 12 years from 1941 to 1953, the longest until Burns.
Burns said he did not have any particular thoughts about his tenure being historic.
“I really don’t see it that way – ‘making history,’ ” Burns said. “I grew up in a family that valued service, in high school and in the community, in any way, shape or form. To reside in the community is one thing. To contribute to its health and well-being is entirely different. I just had the privilege of service. It just happens to have the title of ‘mayor’ after it.”
Burns has had other political aspirations. He sought the Republican nomination for the 14th Congressional District in 2007, but Burns withdrew when former Speaker Dennis Hastert endorsed Jim Oberweis.
Last year, Burns sought the GOP nomination for County Board chairman, but he lost to former State Sen. Chris Lauzen, who went on to win in the general election.
“In some respects, the greatest gifts are your wishes not coming true,” Burns said. “You travel world over to find what you want, and you return home to discover what you need.”
SUBHEAD: Carreiro gets in:
After Carreiro was removed from the ballot for not having enough valid signatures, he filed as a write-in candidate. So did Debbie Draus, vice president of Fagans Inc. in Geneva, and former township highway commissioner John Carlson.
Carlson got 83 votes. Draus got 138. Carreiro tallied 139 votes.
“Thank you to everyone in the community,” Carreiro said. “I’m excited about getting involved.”
Draus said she was disappointed, but the results might change over the next two weeks when absentee ballots come in.
“Earlier in the evening, it looked like a done deal,” Draus said. “But I know of absentee votes that are still coming in with my name on them.”
Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham said Geneva has 23 absentee ballots that have not been received.
“Any absentee ballot postmarked on Election Day or before, we will honor in the 14 days after the election,” Cunningham said. “It could affect the race.”
Spelling the names of write-in candidates does not have to be perfect, Cunningham said, because courts have decided voter intent is what matters.
“If it’s close enough to the name, the judges would allow that to be counted,” Cunningham said.
Robert Kovacs – the Geneva Township trustee whose objection to Carreiro’s nominating petitions removed him from the ballot – was not re-elected.
Kovacs said he did not regret challenging Carreiro’s signatures, saying the result of three candidates running still left the choice to voters instead of an unchallenged candidate.
“I let the voters decide,” Kovacs said. “I did my job for the township. … I have one more meeting to attend, and then my political career is at an end. I have no aspirations for the future.”
SUBHEAD: Moffat’s journey:
Moffat started out with aspirations for three ballots, Geneva School District 304 board, Geneva Park Board and Geneva Library Board.
Newly retired as an air traffic controller and having served 22 years on the Geneva Plan Commission, Moffat said he could have served all three well.
A decision from the Illinois Attorney General determined that serving on a school and park board would be incompatible, which prompted him to withdraw from the school board race.
Winning one post, he said, was just fine.
“I am very enthused about the fact that the voters will allow me to continue to show my passion toward public service to the residents of Geneva,” Moffat said.