Grolle (click for larger version)
April 01, 2014 | 10:24 PMBLOOMFIELD — No tie. No waiting for absentee ballots to be counted. No coin flip.
It’s only a few years old, but the village of Bloomfield was starting to get a reputation for closely fought elections.
A coin flip had to break a tie in the 2012 trustee election, the first for the newly-formed village.
Then this February, the village had to wait for absentee ballots to be counted in order to break a tie in the primary.
This time around there was no drama. One incumbent was in, and one was out.
It was that simple.
Challenger Gary Grolle, a semi-retired attorney, tallied 179 votes and incumbent William Holder, who has been on the board nearly 10 years, took second with 176 — at least before five absentee ballots are counted.
Those five could affect who is the top vote-getter and who is the second, but it won’t affect who wins.
There were only two seats up for election.
The odd man out this time around was incumbent Douglas Mushel with 154 votes.
Dave Nusberger came in fourth with 91 votes.
Holder took his victory in stride. He’d previously announced that this would be his last campaign win or lose saying it was about time for new blood.
He had joked that if he lost this election, “then I’d be retired already.”
But it was not to be.
The new blood wouldn’t be needed yet.
“It’s my last hurrah,” he said Tuesday night. “I’m glad the voters gave me the chance for a final term.”
In a question and answer with the Regional News prior to the election, all three candidates expressed support for the current efforts to improve water quality in Pell Lake.
Holder said he backed the Pell Lake management association and felt it would help create a sense of community.
“I do not believe you can depend upon the village of Bloomfield to shoulder all the responsibilities for this (the lake) agenda,” he said.
Grolle, who was a village trustee and chair of the village finance committee in 2012-13, cautioned that oversight was still needed to make sure that the changes were “consistent with the overall goals, objectives and plans of the village.”
Grolle also said he was in favor of financial incentives for businesses wanting to relocate in the village.
The second time around was a winner for a referendum combining the clerk treasurer position in the Town of Bloomfield and making it appointed.
On April 2, 2013, the vote on this referendum was 60-40 against the proposal.
This time it passed 58-45.
At the annual town meeting April 16, 2013, electors voted to combine the town clerk and treasurer positions and to change it from being elected to appointed, “to be voted on via a referendum on the spring 2014 ballot,” according to the meeting minutes.
After the first defeat, Town Chairman Dan Schoonover said the referendum may have lost because the voters were confused.
“We should have done a much better job (informing voters), and that’s the reason it failed last time,” he said of the 2013 loss.
For years, the town treasurer and clerk were separate, elected positions. In the early 2000s, the town changed the clerk to appointed.
The idea behind the combined office was to reduce duplication of services and to save money. The idea to appoint instead of elect the clerk-treasurer was to ensure that there was someone qualified in that position.
“I’m just glad it passed,” Schoonover said Tuesday night.