Westfield Mayor Ousted

There is a new mayor in Westfield.

Following Tuesday’s spring election results, Michael VandeVelde is the new mayor of the village. He defeated incumbent David Carr, who had been mayor since 2005. VandeVelde won the election with 519 votes. Carr received 227 votes.

The new mayor said the people of Westfield were ready for a change.

“I’m impressed by the village residents. We put a message out there, and they went to the polls and said they want to move Westfield in a new direction,” he said.

VandeVelde, who ran on the Democrat and Westfield First party lines, said he has lived in Westfield his whole life. He served as a village trustee in 2005-06.

“I’ve been here and seen it sit and be stagnate. I have new ideas and hope to move Westfield forward in a direction it has never gone before,” he said. “My goal is economic gardening. To grow our economy from the inside. I want to work with the Westfield Economic Corp to grow the economy from the inside out. Economic development is my No. 1 priority.”

In the Westfield village trustee election, incumbent Robert Cochran, running on the Democrat and Westfield First party lines, won re-election, receiving 547 votes. Newly elected trustee Debra S. Puckhaber won the other available spot, receiving 349 votes running on the Democrat and Westfield First party lines. Incumbent Republican and Concord party candidate Chris Jaynes lost re-election with 337 votes. Republican and Concord party candidate Thomas Rackowski was defeated with 223 votes.

Incumbent Village Justice Jeffrey R.Thomas was re-elected with 648 votes.

Other local village election results are as follows:


Republican incumbent Mayor Bryan Dahlberg running unopposed received 16 votes. Republican incumbent village trustees, Margaret Richardson and Christine Wight, were re-elected. Both candidates were running unopposed. Richardson received 17 votes while Wight gained 15.


Incumbent Arthur Donovan and Gary Planty, running on the Democrat and Concord party lines, were elected village trustees. Planty received 109 votes and Donovan received 88. Incumbent Nicholas A. Rizzo III lost re-election, receiving only 33 votes.


Incumbent LeeAnn Lazarony running unopposed on the Progressive Party line received 34 votes. Incumbent Michael Lehnen and Jeffrey Frick, who both ran on the Taxpayers Party line and were unopposed, were elected trustees. Frick received 34 votes and Lehnen gained 29.


Incumbent Village Trustee Bruce W. Hendricks was re-elected running on the Republican Party Line. He received 43 votes. Democrat candidate Bethany Gross-Smock received 45 votes to receive the other available trustee position. Republican John F. Lukaszewski lost his election bid, receiving 22 votes.


Village Trustees, DeEtte Dispenza and James Rensel, running unopposed on the Democrat and Republican party lines were re-elected with 26 votes. Republican Timothy Dunn running for the vacant trustee position received 19 votes. The village residents also approved a measure to move the spring village election to November. The proposition received no opposing votes.


Linda F. Aures running on the Democrat and Taxpayers party lines won the mayoral election with 121 votes. Katherine Bowker lost the election, receiving 94 votes. For village trustee, Republican Kevin Johnson received 142 votes and Margaret A. Borrello, running on the Democrat and Taxpayers party lines, received 102 votes. Republican Gloria Yeager and Good Citizen’s Kimberly L. Stott lost the trustee election, receiving 95 and 55 votes, respectively.


Incumbent Republican and Property Rights party candidate Susan F. Drago and Democrat and Taxpayer party candidate David J. DiSalvo were elected village trustees. Drago received 262 votes and DiSalvo gained 255. Republican and Property Rights party incumbent Joe Troche lost re-election, receiving 198 votes.

Drago told The Post-Journal on Tuesday after the results were final that she is looking forward to getting back to work for the people of Lakewood.

“My primary goal is to keep Lakewood an affordable place to live,” she said. “I want to continue working to keep our taxes low and to keep services affordable.”

She said the victory is bittersweet because Troche lost his bid at re-election.

“Joe and I worked together and I’ll miss his knowledge on the board,” she said.

Drago was appointed to the board in May 2011 to complete the unexpired trustee term of David Wordelmann, who was elected mayor in March 2011. Drago became the second woman to be a Lakewood trustee. After her appointment, Drago was elected to finish the last year on the unfinished term in March 2012. Troche was first elected as a trustee in 2005 as a Democrat, and was endorsed by the Democratic party. In 2009, Troche changed his political affiliation to Republican, and received the village’s Republican Party endorsement. He was then re-elected to a four-year term.


Gregory S. Ireland ran unopposed on the Taxpayers Party line for village trustee received 10 votes.


Village Mayor John R. Patterson Jr. running unopposed received 97 votes.

For village trustee, incumbent Brett Cook running on the People’s Party line won re-election, receiving 85 votes. Donna L. Higginbortham, running on the Citizen’s First Party, received 60 votes to win election. Incumbent William Wiggers, running on the People’s Party line lost re-election, receiving 53 votes.


Running unopposed, Democrat and Republican party candidate Nicodemo J. Piccolo received 307 votes to win the mayor election.

Incumbent Republican and Fiscal party candidate Thomas R. Harmon won re-election receiving 182 votes. Republican and Fiscal party candidate Warren Kelly won the other seat on the board with 202 votes. Democrat and Taxpayers party candidates Deanna Coggin and Anthony Pearl lost election with 138 and 147 votes respectively.


Incumbent Mayor Kenneth France running unopposed on the Helping Hands Party line received 15 votes. For trustee, running unopposed were incumbents Patricia France, running on the Helping Hands Party line, received 15 votes and David Emmott, running on the Restoration Party line, gained 14 votes.


Eric W. Pritchard was elected mayor with 25 votes. John F. Bronneberg and Richard M. Feuz were elected trustees.


Robert N. pearson was elected trustee with 26 votes.


Scott R. Kerr was elected mayor. Dennis D. Ackley and Lynn J. Rupp elected village trustees defeating Lori K. Peterson and Robert W. Killock. Kristen L. Griffin was elected to a vacant trustee position.