LANSING | Local residents who turned out to vote Tuesday decided to keep Norm Abbott as head of municipal government.
Abbott on Tuesday received 55 percent of the vote for village president, beating former Village Trustee Donald Sciackitano. The two men ran against each other in the 2009 election cycle, with Abbott winning by a 337-vote margin.
This time, Abbott won the head-to-head election by a roughly 500-vote victory margin.
Tuesday’s elections saw only about 5,000 of the 19,712 registered voters of Lansing turn out to cast ballots.
Sciackitano, who would not rule out a third try for the post in 2017, said he thinks, “We turned over every stone in Lansing, and reached out to every voter.”
Sciackitano said, “I think we woke up Lansing, and I think we made the Abbott campaign aware of the fact that this is a diverse village,” referring to his efforts to gain votes from the growing African-American and Latino populations in the village.
While Abbott said, “The residents of Lansing have spoken with a clear voice. They were unwilling to lose the momentum that we’ve built in the past four years.”
Abbott said he is “honored” to be able to serve a second term, which under the village’s term limit ordinance will be the last one he can serve. “We will lead with honor and integrity,” he said.
The bulk of people who supported Abbott also backed the candidates on his Lansing Village Party slate that he put together.
With votes in 21 of 23 precincts counted, Abbott’s preference of Donna Kooyenga for village clerk had 36 percent of the vote, to 34 percent for Kelly Hasse, who ran for the post on Sciackitano’s Progressive Action Party slate.
Incumbent Clerk Patricia Eidam’s independent bid was running third with 30 percent of the vote.
The closest to a defeat for Abbott was in the three candidates leading for village trustee.
Michael Manno, a retired police officer who used to head the DARE program, had 18.45 percent of the vote. He is aligned with Sciackitano, who said, “If the trend holds, he will be a trustee for the village of Lansing.”
The other two leading candidates were incumbents Terry Kapteyn with 18.42 percent and Mikal Stole with 18.31 percent. Incumbent Trustee Dan Lyzenga aligned with Abbott was fourth with 17.87 percent, while two other candidates backed by Sciackitano, Timothy Williams and Humberto Rivera, had 14 percent and 13 percent of the vote, respectively.
In another matter, Lansing voters decided to support the concept of electricity aggregation, with 64 percent voting yes and 36 percent voting no. Under aggregation, the village hires an outside company to negotiate a rate for electricity services on behalf of all village residents.
Because of the potential for a bulk rate, residents gain the possibility to pay less on their utility bills than they currently pay.