Windsor Heights has new mayor, old and new council

WINDSOR HEIGHTS – It was an unusual election year for the village of Windsor Heights.

While there often were no contested races in previous years, voters this year could choose from three candidates for mayor and nine candidates for five at-large council seats.

And turnout was high for the small village, with more than 140 casting ballots on Tuesday, said Village Recorder Linda Stuckey.

A majority chose James Smith for mayor, with 92 votes cast for him.

Smith’s opponents were former Mayor Stacy Hornick, who received 63 votes, and incumbent Bill Liposchak, who received 10 votes.

All totals are unofficial until ballots are canvassed at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Windsor Heights Community Center, where council meets.

Circumstances for the mayor’s race also were unusual. Liposchak, himself a former Windsor Heights mayor, had been appointed to fill about a year and a half of Hornick’s unexpired term after she resigned to care for her ill parents.

And he ran as an official write-in candidate after missing the deadline for the regular filing period.

A maintenance manager for the Board of Trade Building in Wheeling and retired coal miner, Smith said, “I’m really pleased with the support.”

He said as mayor he hopes to work with council “to just make this a better place to live and a calmer place.”

Apparent winners of the Village Council race and their totals are incumbent Herbert Hupp,102 votes; incumbent Tuson Johnston, 101 votes; challenger Grace Davis, 91 votes; incumbent Karen Clyne, 80 votes; and Larry Boynes, a challenger and official write-in candidate, 80 votes.

Other candidates and their totals were challenger Judith Bartz, 74 votes; incumbent Chuck Miller, 72 votes; incumbent John Kokosinski Jr., 59; and challenger and official write-in candidate Brian Pollock, 16.

Hupp said of news he was the top vote-getter among council candidates, “I’m ecstatic. I really didn’t know what to expect this time. I’m flattered that I had that many people vote for me.”

A council member since 1990, Hupp said while he expects the new council to have differences of opinion, members do share the common goal of wanting to bring improvements while keeping it a peaceful community in which to live.

New or old, those elected to council expressed thanks to the voters who supported them.

Johnston couldn’t be reached for comment.

Davis said she looks forward to working with council to bring repairs to village streets, drainage systems and playgrounds and to improving communication between officials and residents.

“I’m just excited about working in the community and including residents more,” she said.

Clyne said she hopes the new council can work together to complete projects begun recently and involving the village’s ballfield and playgrounds and the construction of a salt shed for street maintenance.

A lifelong resident of Windsor Heights and retired coal miner, Boynes said because of his status as a write-in candidate his win “was really a surprise to me.”

Boynes said the previous council “was doing an excellent job, but there were concerns from residents that weren’t being heard.”

He said he hopes as councilman to rectify that.