December 20, 2014

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2 incumbent Oberlin Council members ousted

OBERLIN — Voters ousted Council President David Sonner and Councilman David Ashenhurst from their positions on Council Tuesday night.

The loss of both long-time incumbents, as well as two other representatives who decided not to run again, means City Council will have four new faces beginning next year: Kate Pilacky, 47, associate field director Western Reserve Land Conservancy; Kenneth Sloane, 64, who served four terms on Council from 1996 to 2003; Elizabeth Meadows, 64, an adult literacy coordinator in the Lorain Public Library System; and Bryan Burgess, 30, partner in Burgess Electric.

Also winning were incumbents Sharon Fairchild Soucy, H. Scott Broadwell and Charles Peterson.

Sonner collected 748 votes while Ashenhurst, a four-year incumbent, received 755 votes, according to unofficial election results.

On a phone call late Tuesday, Ashenhurst said he was disappointed by the loss, but hopes that provisional ballots that have not been counted can give him the additional votes needed to give him back his seat.

“Where I worked as a presiding judge today, there were three (provisional ballots) and I believe there are a couple hundred still to be counted,” he said. “Two years ago, I got the most provisionals.”

He said voting districts were ordered redrawn by the state recently because they had too many voters in them, which may have cost him the election.

Sonner did not return a message left on his cell phone Tuesday night.

Voters had to choose among 12 candidates for seven seats Tuesday night, many of them new faces with Councilman Ronnie Rimbert stepping down because of term limits and Council Vice President Jack Baumann bowing out to start a vineyard in Henrietta Township.

Of the incumbents that were re-elected, Soucy took the most votes of all the candidates with 1,228, while next was Broadwell with 1,049, followed by Peterson with 993, according to unofficial election results.

Among newcomers, Meadows took 1,055 votes, Burgess took 969 votes, Sloane had 933 votes and Pilacky took 831 votes, according to unofficial election results.

The pool of candidates was rounded out by former Councilman Tony Mealy, who collected 425 votes, followed by Aaron Mucciolo with 639 votes and Robert “Tony” Gaines with 689 votes.

Contact Adam Wright at 329-7155 or awright@chroniclet.com.