MACEDONIA — One of two City Council at-large seats that were up for grabs on the Nov. 5 general election ballot may still be in play.
According to final, but unofficial results from the Summit County Board of Elections, incumbent Shane Barker edged out challenger David Finley, a Creekside Parkway resident, 886 to 882 votes, close enough to possibly require an automatic recount.
Both Barker and Finley said Friday that they were waiting to see the results of the counting of absentee and provisional ballots and the certification of official vote counts due on Nov. 26.
"I will wait for recounts and any other ballots to be counted before I say much," said Barker. "It’s just kind of a waiting game, which is unfortunate for him and me both."
The Board of Elections did not return a phone call seeking comment.
Challenger Jeff Garvas, a Firestone Lane resident, won the other at-large seat with 1,303 votes while incumbent Kevin Bilkie lost with 456 votes.
"I am very honored that the voters of Macedonia have put their faith in me and have given me the privilege to represent their interests and concerns over the next four years," said Garvas.
Bilkie, who is finishing his first term, did not return a phone call seeking comment. Council censured Bilkie in September for unnamed "gross misconduct."
Mayor Nick Molnar won his first full term after running unopposed. Formerly Council president, he took over as mayor following the resignation of former Mayor Joe Migliorini in 2018.
Garvas said he likes Finley’s ideas about reviewing old city ordinances that "may be hindering our businesses."
"We need to find a balance between necessary regulation and being a reasonable place to do business if we hope to continue to attract new businesses," he said.
"I am really looking forward to council's extended work sessions where we can spend more time openly debating and drafting proposals and the inevitable legislation that comes from those efforts," Garvas continued. "I believe the residents will be more informed by more extensive open dialogue and transparency will be greatly improved.
"I look forward to working with our police and fire department leadership to ensure we have adequate staffing and are doing what we can to retain those men and women that we invest heavily in training."
Both Finley and Barker said however it goes between them, they are pleased with how the candidates conducted themselves during the campaign.
"I want to thank the voters," said Finley, for giving me the opportunity not only to run, but have that kind of support and I greatly appreciate it, as well as with the other candidates we had. A very civil election cycle and I think that was really good for the community."
Barker said, "Those guys put on a good campaign and they’re to be commended for that."
Reporter Jeff Saunders can be reached at 330-541-9431, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JeffSaunders_RP.