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Curran wins new term, Wollowitz, Rippel take board seats


CHATHAM–Mayor Tom Curran won re-election to a second term Tuesday, beating challenger Maria de Marco by a final tally of 284-to-209.
Two open village trustee seats were split between the two parties–Chatham Sustainability Party and Chatham United–with Michael Wollowitz of Chatham United garnering 259 votes and Jay Rippel of the Sustainability party taking the other seat with 258. Chatham United candidate Wayne Coe received 236 votes and David Silliman, on the Sustainability ballot line, had 223. Tuesday’s election, in some ways, became a referendum on whether village government would continue to provide services as it does now. Mr. Curran, first elected in 2011, had drawn vocal opposition at several meetings over the last few months for his decision to make a small reduction in the police force to help balance the budget and for the board’s decision to hire a village administrator.
The opposing slate had the funding for lawn signs and a direct mail appeal for support, but it was Mr. Curran’s supporters who came to the polls in relatively large numbers Tuesday, despite bad weather through much of the day.
“I’m pleased with the outcome,” Mayor Curran said, adding that he was “really thankful for such a response from the village.”
As for the split vote between parties for village trustee, Mr. Curran said he was “actually pleased.” He said he knows Mr. Rippel “is somebody that I can work with,” adding that diversity in opinion and philosophy on the board “is a good thing.”
Chatham United supporters remain firmly in control of the board, with the two remaining members, Lenore Packet and Adrienne Morrell elected on the party’s ballot line last year.
Danial W. Brackett ran unopposed for village justice on the Chatham Sustainability line. He received 239 votes.
At 510 voters, turnout was high for Tuesday’s election, with approximately half of the voting eligible population casting a ballot.
“The stakes are probably pretty high,” Mr. Curran said of the turnout. “People were really invested in it.”
The final tally was completed late in the evening at the Tracy Memorial, with 35 absentee ballots having to be recounted amid some confusion, according to Mr. Curran. But, as the evening wore on, it was clear who the winners would be.
Mr. Wollowitz, who earned the most votes among the candidates for trustee, said it was “getting stressful at the end,” but noted that the process remained cordial.
He said he will spend some time studying rules and procedures of the Village Board and “get caught up on everything” the current board has been working on.
Like Mr. Curran, Mr. Wollowitz is ready to work with Mr. Rippel, saying that he’s known Mr. Rippel “for a long time,” adding, “He’s a sensible person.”
Mr. Rippel could not be reached as of press deadline.
One of the first tasks for the new board will be to adopt the new village budget. Mr. Curran said he was planning to submit the draft budget to the village clerk this week.

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