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River Hills incumbent unseated; White, Gelly win most votes

Candidates' totals differ by 40 votes

April 8, 2009

In an upset April 7, incumbent River Hills Trustee Randall Perry, who has served two three-year terms, finished last in a field of four candidates for two seats on the Village Board.

Winners Michael White and Cordelia Gelly were the top vote-getters. Victor Harding, the fourth candidate, came in third.

The vote totals, according to unofficial results:

Michael White

341

Cordelia Gelly

336

Victor Harding

325

Randall Perry (i)

301

Election results remain unofficial until they are certified by the board of canvassers, which met after press deadline.

"Obviously, it was a very tight election," White said. "It was only 40 votes between the top and bottom."

Ironically, he and Perry ran almost as a team before the primary election, both running on a platform of nonintrusive village government. They opposed restrictions proposed for those living along the Milwaukee River.

The potential restrictions were a point of controversy for many months in the village. But White said the village will return to the quiet peaceful place it was before the election.

Gelly had the support of many village environmentalists who favored more village controls, she said. But she also enjoyed support from parts of the village where people wanted a stronger voice.

"It really was the hard work of a bunch of people, going door to door and making calls about how important it is to vote," she said of the key to her success.

But, she said, what seemed to resonate with people was not the environment.

"It probably was being a good listener," she said, "and being willing to try to bring their concerns to the board."

The four candidates survived a primary election in February. In that election, White and Perry came out on top; William Lemorande was eliminated.

Jane Ford-Stewart can be reached at (262) 446-6607.

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