and Dennis Hines
Voters in Walworth County municipal elections April 2 chose Dan Aronson to become Bloomfield’s new village president and re-elected Jim Weiss to another term as the Linn town chairman.
The elections also resolved other races for local offices in both communities.
In the race for Bloomfield village president, Aronson won by a 2-to-1 margin over Susan Bernstein to succeed Gary Grolle as village president.
Aronson finished with 497 votes to Bernstein’s 244 votes.
Aronson, who will take office later this month, said voters rallied around him because they rejected what he described as negative and misleading campaigning by his opponent. He said Bernstein engaged in negative attacks against him and also that she tried taking credit unjustly for changes made in village government.
Voters, he said, rallied around him because “they want solutions” rather than nasty politics.
Referring to Bernstein and some of her supporters, Aronson said: “It’s no secret we don’t like each other.” But he said he would try working with Bernstein and others on the village board to solve Bloomfield’s financial troubles by finding new sources of revenue for the village.
“If I don’t get the support of the board,” he said, “we go nowhere.”
Bernstein, who remains on the village board, declined to comment on Aronson’s remarks, or to discuss what went wrong with her campaign.
But she said she would try to work with others in village government, and she would try to accomplish some of the same thing that she discussed during the campaign.
“I think it was an excellent campaign,” she said.
In other races, Bloomfield voters elected Natalie Alvarez and Rita Marcinkus to two seats on the village board, with Alvarez and Marcinkus finishing ahead of Steve Doelder and Rosemary Badame.
A race for a vacant municipal judge’s seat in Bloomfield finished with candidate Michael Brittain out-distancing write-in candidate Bill Steinhoff.
In the town of Linn, town chairman Jim Weiss was successful in defeating challenger Craig DeYoung to win re-election.
Weiss recorded 395 votes, while DeYoung got 276. Weiss said he is pleased that he was elected to his fifth term as town chairman.
“I’m honored and humbled to serve as town chairman for another term,” Weiss said. “I’m pleased with the results of the election.”
Weiss said one of the issues he will immediately face is the restructuring of the town’s staff. With clerk/treasurer Sue Polyock retiring, the town has established a treasurer/administrator position.
Weiss said town officials hope to fill the position in either late May or early June.
“It depends on who we hire and how much notice they have to give,” Weiss said. “Right now, there’s too many variables. We’re still in the selection process.”
DeYoung said he did not want to discuss the election except to say he respects the voters’ decision.
“It’s the way people voted. I’m OK with that,” DeYoung said. “It’s their town.”
DeYoung said he enjoyed campaigning and having the opportunity to meet with voters.
“Even if people didn’t agree with me, it was good talking to them,” he said.
DeYoung said he is not certain if he will run for office again in the future.
“I’m unclear at this point,” DeYoung said.
In town board races in Linn, voters elected Christine Jones and Tim Rasch in a field in which Kathy Leith also ran. Rasch, who received 383 votes, defeated Leith, who obtained 279 votes.
Jones, who ran unopposed, received 471 votes.
Rose Miller was elected Linn’s town clerk over Charles Roan. Miller received 419 votes, while Roan received 222 votes.
Weiss said he feels the controversy with a group of people asking that a new audit be conducted on the town’s spending and budgeting issues led to high voter turnout.
“I think the residents of Linn spoke loudly that they believe the town board is doing a good job, and they want the nonsense to stop,” he said. “They want us to all work together for the common good.”
DeYoung said he still feels the town should conduct a special audit on its finances.
In the town of Geneva, town chairman Joe Kopecky withstood a write-in challenger, while town board candidates Jeff Monroe and Kathleen Scanlan won their races.