Wandell voted in as new Mayor of Amityville
By Carolyn James
Amityville Mayoral candidate James Wandell pulled out a victory tonight defeating incumbent Amityville Village Trustees Ed Johnson and Peter Casserly. The votes for the “underdog” candidate gave him a margin of more than 200 votes ahead of Casserly and more than 500 from Johnson.
Also winning election were Jessica Bernius and Kevin Smith who were elected Trustees to fill the seats of Johnson and Richard Ubert who did not seek reelection.
“We did it,” said Wandell as he and his supporters celebrated their win at Cornucopia Noshery on Park Avenue. “I had support, a great team, and a strong message.”
Wandell garnered 945 votes; Casserly 736 and Johnson 437, unofficial tallies showed.
Bernius received the highest number of votes with 1,115 and Smith followed with 880. Final tallies for trustee candidates Pete Himmelmann, Joe Morin and Bruce Jenney were not immediately available.
Wandell had described himself as the “underdog” throughout the campaign, but said he believed his message of fiscal responsibility for the Village was one that most residents believed in. And, he added, he and his team used new media to get that message out including Facebook and robo-calls, which had raised some controversy during the campaign.
During his campaign, Wandell made a major issue over the health-care coverage the Village provides to Village Board members, the cost of the new Village Hall and the recent decline in the Village’s bond rating by Moody’s Investments.
Looking ahead, Wandell said that there is a lot that he and the board must focus on. “My message now is, ‘let’s get to work,” he said.
At Casserly headquarters the mood was somber but resigned as the numbers were posted showing that Wandell clearly had a strong lead. “It’s a new day,” said one Casserly supporter.
“I still have two years on the board and will work with the new Mayor,” said Casserly.. “All of the same issues and problems still face us and now it is time to put politics aside and work for the people of Amityville."