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Village of Lansing ElectionIncumbent Mayor Donald Hartill (left) and Trustees Patricia O'Roarke and Ronny Hardaway won anotheer term in Tuesday's Village of Lansing election

After a contentious campaign in the Village of Lansing, the three incumbent Community Party Candidates in all won a new term in Tuesday's election.  Preservation Party candidates conducted an aggressive campaign, but it wasn't enough to unseat Mayor Donald Hartill, and trustees Pat O'Rourke and Ronny Hardaway.  322 voters showed up at the polls Tuesday.  Community party candidates receiving approximately 75% of the votes.

"I want to thank all the Village residents who turned out to vote on Tuesday," Mayor Hartill said Wednesday.  "It was very gratifying to see so many people turn out. It really makes it worthwhile to talk with our residents during the campaign and find out their concerns. I will continue to work hard to keep the potholes filled and the roads in very good condition, while making sure that our water and sewer systems are providing excellent service. I look forward to seeing our new park on Northwood Road finished and our residents enjoying the new facilities and walking trails. Being Mayor of the Village of Lansing is a pleasure."

Hartill won his 11th term as Mayor with 243 votes to Lisa Bonniwell's 79. The two Trustee seats were also won by incumbents Hardaway (236) and O'Rourke (243).  Hardiwell will begin his second term, and O'Rourke her third.  John A. LaVigne received 81 votes, and Gregory Eells 84.

The Preservation Party was formed in protest of a rezoning on Bomax Road, close to the Lansing trails and Janivar Road developments where all three candidates live.  As the campaign progressed the three party candidates criticized the current mayor and trustees, saying they don't listen to constituents, and that they are spending too much of the taxpayers' money.  Mayoral candidate Bonniwell said she was disappointed in the results, but intends to stay engaged in village politics.

"I am disappointed in the results as to the reelection of the Community Party," she told the Lansing Star.  "The tax increases, over spending, duplication of municipal services and a complete disregard of the Village comprehensive plan is not governance in the best interests of the Village.  I am excited and will endeavor over the next 24 months to prove to the Village that a change of the regime is needed.  I truly have the best intentions not only for the Village but for the people that live in the Village and surrounding areas as well.  Go 2019!", signing her comments,  "FUTURE MAYOR".

But Community Party candidates countered that they had shepherded the village responsibly, maintaining a high level of services and keeping taxes low.  They said they do listen to constituents, but make decisions that benefit the whole village rather than just one neighborhood.

"I want to thank all of the Village residents who voted in our election," Hardaway said the morning after he was reelected.  "As one of their trustees, I will continue to work hard for the well-being of our Village and all of its residents and businesses, and I hope to earn the voters’ continued trust and support."

With 1677 registered voters in the Village, 322 voters  seems like a low voter turnout.  But statistics show that in the last three elections when voters chose a mayor and two trustees, the average turnout was 100.  With more than three times that number, the 19.2%  turnout actually was relatively high for a Village of Lansing election.  O'Rourke expressed gratitude to the voters, Trustees, and the Community Party's executive committee for running the successful campaign.

"It is indeed gratifying that such a large number of people turned out," she said. "The voting turnout demonstrates a genuine concern and commitment to good government on the part of this community."

"I also commend the members of the Preservation Party who ran a strong campaign," O'Rourke continued.  "We look forward to working with them to make our community a stronger, more united and stainable place to live.  I look forward to working on top priorities for the Village including a strong infrastructure, with a well-maintained, reliable road system and public services and sustaining a balanced mix of green space, residential properties and businesses."

Village Election ChallengersLisa Bonniwell (left) made her bid to become Mayor in Tuesday's election, along with John A. LaVine (center) and Gregory Eells (right). All three were defeated by the incumbent candidates.

Eells said he intends to stay engaged even though he didn't win a trustee seat.

"I want to thank the election officials and the voters for coming out yesterday," he says.  "It was a pleasure to run with Lisa and John and I think a positive outcome that there was, relatively, such a large voter turnout.  This process has gotten me more interested in village politics and I plan to continue to be active."

"It was an honor to run for Village Trustee," said candidate and Preservation Party Chair LaVine. "The persons I ran with, Lisa and Greg, are positive and admirable. It was a great experience. Thank you for your support and I wish you well."

Tompkins County Board of Elections official says that the official results will be announced in about a week, after the absentee ballots are counted.  The Board of Elections issued 32 absentee ballots for this election, but only received 25 back.  Even if all 25 votes went to the Preservation Party candidates they wouldn't be enough to change the result. 

That means the village clerk will not have to scramble to make for the board table before Monday, when the Board of Trustees holds its first meeting of the new fiscal year.

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