By ANDREA POTEET
Sunday Times Newspapers
ALLEN PARK – The results of Tuesday’s primary election will cause some shake-ups on the city council after the November general election.
Councilwoman Beverly Kelley was the lone incumbent to unsuccessfully run for re-election in the race, earning 908 votes (3.9 percent). Incumbent James Flynn did not seek re-election.
Kelley made headlines twice this year for comments during council meetings. Once was for yelling “shut up” at the wife of a firefighter during discussions regarding whether to lay off the entire Fire Department. She later publicly apologized to the woman.
Months later, she garnered more criticism – and an ethics investigation – for whispered comments to City Attorney Todd Flood that included profane remarks about a resident stepping up to the microphone. The comments were not heard by audience members but were broadcast over cable television. The ethics violations were dismissed by the Board of Ethics in June and Kelley issued a public apology prior to their decision.
In a phone interview Thursday, Kelley said she was at peace with the results of the election.
“You see it whether it’s federal, state or county,” Kelley said. “Every once in awhile, (voters) just want to clean house and have a fresh start. I think that’s good.”
Kelley said she was unsure whether the ethics investigation hurt her campaign but also said her lack of campaigning may have affected her chances.
“It may have,” she said of the investigation. “I don’t know. Most people I talked to really didn’t care one way or another. I was obviously proved not guilty.”
Kelley, who has worked with the city in various capacities for more than 30 years, said she is looking forward to the new ideas brought forward by the next city council.
All other incumbents each earned one of 12 spots in the Nov. 8 general election, when voters will choose the final six. Mayor Felice “Tony” Lalli ran for his old council seat, which he held until replacing Mayor Gary Burtka upon Burtka’s resignation four months ago. Lalli netted 1,767 votes (7.56 percent). Councilman Larry Templin received 1,626 votes (6.96 percent). Councilman Francesco “Frank” Tucci took 1,386 votes (5.93 percent). Councilwoman Tina Gaworecki got 1,541 votes (6.59 percent).
All votes are unofficial pending verification from the Wayne County Clerk’s Office.
Resident Bob Keenan was the top vote-getter in the council race, with 2,012 (8.61 percent) votes. Also going on to the general election will be Dennis Hayes (1,702 votes, 7.28 percent), Steve Gary (1,541 votes, 6.59 percent), Angelo Americo DeGiulio (1,331 votes, 5.70 percent), Edward Kleinow (1,264 votes, 5.41 percent), Christopher Tuccini (1,253 votes, 5.36 percent), Robert Turner (1,219 votes, 5.22 percent) and Harry Sisko (1,191 votes, 5.10 percent).
Also running were Joshua LaPeer (1,022 votes, 4.37 percent), Vivian Hagerman (881 votes, 3.77 percent), Mark Gaworecki (810 votes, 3.47 percent), Paul Boike (712 votes, 3.05 percent), Mike DeGiulio (666 votes, 2.85 percent) and Brian Robert McLellan (493 votes, 2.11 percent). There were 38 write-in votes.
Voters will now choose between two candidates for mayor: William Matakas, who netted 2,195 votes (42.15 percent), and David Noel Babbage, who took 1,491 votes (28.6 percent).
Also running were Councilman Kevin Rourke (925 votes, 17.76 percent) and Jerry Galka (587 votes, 11.27 percent). There were 10 write-in votes.