By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers
LINCOLN PARK — Voters approved a pair of ballot questions to provide much-needed tax and road relief to the city, but those funds will be administered by new leadership.
Former Police Chief Thomas Karnes topped the balloting in Tuesday’s general election mayoral race over incumbent Patricia Diaz Krause. Karnes garnered 2,244 (58 percent) of the votes over Krause’s 1,605 (42 percent). Karnes will serve a two-year term in office, succeeding Krause who was elected in 2011.
Karnes was not available for comment in time for publication.
Incumbent Clerk Donna Breeding retained her office by easily outpacing challenger Richard Kudrak. Breeding earned 75 percent of the vote with 2,767 ballots against Kudrak’s 910.
New faces will join the city council as three of the six expiring seats were won by challengers. Six two-year terms were won Tuesday by: incumbent and current Council President Thomas Murphy (2,405, 13 percent), incumbent Mark Kandes (2,173,12 percent), Elliott Zelenak (2,030, 11 percent), incumbent Mario DiSanto (1,992, 11 percent), and Deborah Henderson (1,831, 10 percent) and Larry Kelsey (1,670, 9 percent).
The contest was decided by just a few votes, as challengers Chris Dardzinksi (1,667) and Thomas Parkinson (1,666) were narrowly edged out of contention, along with incumbent Joseph Kaiser Jr. (1,606) and James Chapman III (1,285).
Support for a pair of ballot questions was strong, with both a bond request for road repairs and renewal of a police and fire millage passing.
Voters approved a 2.6-mill, 10-year bond request not to exceed $20 million for street projects 2,150 (56 percent) to 1,667. The bond will impose a 2.6-mill levy in 2014.
Also approved was the renewal of a 3.45-mill levy for police and fire services to extend through 2017; the renewal will generate approximately $1,8 million in 2014. The renewal was approved by 79 percent (3,061) of the votes cast Tuesday.
Karnes and the new council members will be sworn in during the next city council meeting Nov. 18. Krause, a relative newcomer to politics when elected mayor two years ago, said she will hand over the gavel with regrets and hopes for the city.
“I really put my heart into this,” Krause said, “and wished I would have had a couple of more years.”
Krause said she had tried to bring attention to long needed property maintenance and downtown development, and hopes that continues.
“I feel real good about having brought those forward,” Krause said. “I hope the new mayor continues those.”
(James Mitchell can be reached at [email protected])