For a seventh straight year, the Weasels managed to conduct a violence-free election, but this one was filled with plenty of drama nonetheless.
Start with a former officer’s candidacy being rejected on the grounds that he wasn’t a paid-up member. John Gramila was elected to a one-year term in 2011 to serve on the Fourth Sneak. The club’s governing board had expanded that year to seven officers from five in anticipation of the 2012 WDC.
Gramila served with distinction as the Chief of Public Information, launching the @WindyCityWeasel Twitter account and helping with WDC planning and logistics. After the big event, he declined to seek reelection.
But early last week, Gramila announced his intention to run on Saturday. His campaign, though, was star-crossed from the start. Gramila was dealt a critical blow last Wednesday when Chief of Public Information Jim O’Kelley, the acting clerk of election, declared Gramila ineligbile on the grounds that he hadn’t paid his dues. Early voting proceeded on Thursday with four candidates for four open positions: incumbents Dan Burgess, Ben DiPaola and Peter Lokken, along with Matt Sundstrom, one of the most decorated players in club history. Five paid-up members submitted early ballots.
At Saturday’s season-ending Weasel Pyle, O’Kelley distributed paper ballots with the names of those four candidates. Gramila, however, was undaunted. He paid his dues at the Pyle and promptly launched a vigorous write-in campaign. Although he was starting in a hole, his platform appealed to the numerous hipsters in attendance and also inspired young Kevin O’Kelley to solicit write-in votes.
Alas, in the final tally, Gramlia fell five votes short of forcing a run-off for one of the Sneak spots. Kevin, meanwhile, finished a distant sixth, proving once again the cold-blooded nature of the average Weasel.
But the drama didn’t end when the last ballot was counted. Rather than accept a second two-year term, DiPaola abdicated, citing Gramila’s enthusiasm and his own ambivalence toward the game, if not the club.
"I enjoyed serving on the Sneak and participating in the discussions that guided our club," he said, "but the Weasels can benefit from John’s enthusiasm. For that reason, I choose to abdicate."
Said Gramila: "Great. What does the position pay and do I get a free t-shirt?"
Gramila, Burgess, Lokken and Sundstrom each will serve two years on the Sneak. They join holdovers Nate Cockerill, Don Glass and Jim O’Kelley, each of whom has a year remaining on his term. The Seventh Sneak will meet no later than the Royale on Nov. 1 to elect officers for the new year.