Ela assessor hopefuls dispute each other's credentials
Two Ela Township assessor candidates are touting their credentials in campaign mailers, but questions regarding accuracy have surfaced on each side.
Incumbent John Barrington faces Wayne Wnek in the April 9 election, and each denies the other's claims about inaccuracies in the materials.
They are on rival political slates that have candidates for township supervisor, clerk, highway commissioner and trustee. Barrington is on the Ela First slate, while Wnek is a member of the Ela Tax Reform Party.
Wnek is president of an appraisal firm he owns in Hawthorn Woods. His credentials include having a certified general real estate appraiser license from the state since 1992.
However, Barrington, who became township assessor in 2010, contends Wnek's resume was exaggerated in an Ela Tax Reform mailer. It states Wnek is "an experienced and well-qualified assessor who understands how to make assessments for all without the potential for conflict of interest."
Wnek should not have been called an assessor because it's an elected position he's never held, Barrington said.
"It is unfortunate that Wayne is willing to say anything and deceive voters to get elected," Barrington said Tuesday.
Wnek said the material referenced by Barrington was Ela Tax Reform's first mailer, which contained several errors. Corrections have been made and future materials will refer to him as an appraiser, not an assessor, he said.
According to Wnek, it's Barrington who is stretching the truth in the Ela First mailers and website by stating he is a state-licensed real estate appraiser. Illinois Division of Professional Regulation records show Barrington has been an associate real estate appraiser trainee since 2006.
Time-consuming work, which included at least 12 courses during four years, was necessary to receive the certified general real estate appraiser license, Wnek said.
While being an appraiser isn't necessary for the township assessor's office, he said, Barrington has yet to complete the necessary education for the added credential in seven years.
"You are either appraiser trainee like John or certified appraiser like myself," Wnek said. "To imply that he is a 'state licensed real estate appraiser' is implying that he is more than a trainee with the intent to fool the public and enhance his limited credentials."
Barrington said he used a generic title to show he holds a license from the state for real estate appraisement.
"I am not using this in connection with an appraisal or a potential appraisal client, so I am not misleading or deceiving anyone to think I have a specific license that allows me to do a single property appraisal on a shopping mall or a high-rise apartment," Barrington said.
Related experience has been cited with other township assessors. For example, former Avon Township Supervisor Sam Yingling noted Chris Ditton's experience as a real estate attorney when appointing him to fill a 2011 assessor vacancy.
Ela Township includes Lake Zurich, Kildeer, Long Grove, Deer Park, Hawthorn Woods and unincorporated areas.