SPRING VALLEY – Spring Valley Alderman Walt Marini defeated current Mayor Cliff Banks and fellow Alderman Jack Narczewski in a three-way race for Spring Valley's top seat.
"I'm very pleased with the results," Marini said Tuesday night at his victory party at Verucchi's Ristorante. "It was a long campaign."
More than 55 percent of Spring Valley registered voters turned out to give Marini the win with 893 votes, or 44 percent.
Banks was a near second with 852 votes, and Narczewski garnered 297 votes.
Marini said he wasn't surprised by the final totals.
"I felt it was going to be close the whole time," he said. "I worked hard knowing it would be close."
Marini declined to discuss any of his future plans and just wanted to thank the voters.
"I thank the Spring Valley voters for having some confidence in me, and I hope we can work together in the future to help Spring Valley move forward and prosper," he said.
The mood was more somber at Angelo's Restaurant, where Banks had gathered with his family and supporters.
Banks was philosophical about his loss.
"The people spoke, and I took what the people said," he said. "We'll see what happens to the city of Spring Valley in the next four years."
Banks congratulated Marini on his win and said his political career in Spring Valley is finished.
"They've seen the last of me," he said. "I've done what I could do for the people, and I tried the best I could."
Banks said the election was a win-win situation. While it would have been good to have been re-elected, Banks said it was also good to get his life back.
"I get to fish and hunt again," he said. "I'm not going to be picking up garbage, and I'm not going to be dealing with peoples' troubles all night long. It's going to be nice,"
Marini will be facing a significantly different council than the one he is currently on.
Four of the eight aldermanic seats were up for election Tuesday, and three of the incumbents chose not to run again.
The sole incumbent, Chuck Hansen, eked out a razor-thin victory in the Second Ward, squeaking past perennial candidate Fred West on a 140-137 vote margin. Other vote-getters for the seat were Paul Humpage (118), Jeff Chiaventone (72), Edward Zeglis Jr. (69) and Jill Emerson (28).
In the First Ward, Michael Herrmann will take over the seat now held by Mike Richetta, defeating Todd Schmollinger by 281-165.
In the Third Ward, Marini's vacated seat will be filled by Mark Actis, who defeated Joseph Piacenti 302-220.
In the Fourth Ward, Rick Fusinato's seat will be filled by Dave Pellegrini (216), who defeated Ken Bogacz (126) and Julia Messina (95) in Tuesday's victory.
Editor's note: Vote totals are not official. Valid provisional ballots and absentee ballots postmarked before Election Day will be counted 14 days after the election and become part of the official total.
Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.