Incumbents in both Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow are celebrating today after local voters handed down a decisive victory.
In Sleepy Hollow, Mayor Ken Wray, and Trustees Evelyn Stupel, Barbara Carr and Bruce Campbell earned another two-year term after fending off Independent challengers Daniel Scott (Mayor) and trustee candidates Sumantha Sedor and Jack Gasko.
Mayor Drew Fixell and trustees Tom Butler, Becky McGovern and Doug Zollo all secured re-election in Tarrytown after overcoming a challenge by Republican and Tarrytown First candidates Karl Hagstrom (Mayor), Alison Boldyrev, Steve Wilgermein and Dawn Brehony.
In Tarrytown, Democratic Party supporters gathered at to watch the results come in. Roughly 75 supporters cheered on as it quickly became apparent, about 20 minutes after the close of the polls, that incumbents held an unshakable two-to-one lead.
"There were a lot of us who wanted to win big... to show that we are all united and that we are working together and we are not divisive," said Linda Viertel, who organized the Democratic campaign. "It is about the issues for us. As hard as this was... I want to thank everybody for coming together on behalf of Tarrytown.
For those voting in Tarrytown, two issues seemed to take precedence: taxes and how the village handled the deaths of John Kelly and Anthony Ruggiero in a manhole accident on Labor Day.
"Obviously the management and taxes. Taxes are probably number one. The incident that happened with the firemen and the how that was handled in the press was very important to me," said Tarrytown resident Marion Van Der Meer after she voted at Riverside Hose Company.
Another voter, who declined to be named or state how she voted, said she cast her vote for those she thought would be best to bring the village back together after what she described as a divisive six-months.
Most voters were clear with their message of who they wanted to lead the village through the healing process, and incumbents noted that it wasn't about parties.
"I think what you see when we first won and what you've seen today is people from all over the village participating and being a part of this," said Mayor Drew Fixell. "It's not just Democrats; it's Republicans, Independents and unaffiliated voters. This really is Tarrytown united."
Fixell said over the next two years he would continue to focus on bringing in residents to work on village committees and issues, and moving the village forward.
"We're going to continue doing what we've been doing, which is to bring people in and to work hard to solve problems," he said. "There will be stumbles on the way, but we are always trying to make things better."
Karl Hagstrom, who was running against Fixell for the Mayor position, said the he supported the newly-elected trustees.
"Tarrytown has spoken and we respect that decision," Hagstrom said. "We certainly congratulate the mayor on his victory and the other board members. Our team is in full support of them and we ask or followers to fall in line and do what's right for the village."
Hagstrom said it was important to raise some debate and issues in the village that would hopefully be addressed in the next two years. Trustee candidate Dawn Brehony said that she intended to continue being involved in the village issues.
"I'm disappointed with the results, but I am going to stay involved in the process and hopefully some good will come from this to the village," Brehony said.
In Sleepy Hollow, turnout and results were mixed although incumbents overwhelmingly prevailed at the end of the day. Despite winning by a wide margin, incumbents actually lost in an estimated five districts (results are not yet official).
"I think in many ways it was a victory for us," said Mayor candidate Dan Scott. "We saw them break some protocol and opened up some dialog at trustee meetings. We saw them rush to put documents on their website, so if that continues it's a victory for the village."
Newly-elected trustees were bolstered by large turnouts and Democratic voters in places like Kendal-on-Hudson.
"I think it's a validation of the hard work we've been doing," said Mayor Ken Wray. I think it means the village is behind what we're doing and they think that we're the ones who should continue it and finish the job."
Wray held 62 percent of the vote as per Westchester County's unofficial result. Incumbent trustees earned about 25 percent of the vote each, overcoming the challenger trustee's 13 percent of the vote each.
Still, Scott said he would stay involved in local government by perhaps petitioning to be on a committee. He also hinted at another run down the line.
"I haven't made any official decision. It's only the day after," he said. "I am pretty sure we will be running again, maybe next year."
The newly re-elected officials said they were looking forward to pressing on with GM and downtown revitalization issues.
"I am really pleased with the outcome, and I am really looking forward to getting back to work," said Trustee Evelyn Stupel.