In a tight race, Westerville residents voted for two incumbents and two challengers in the race for four seats on City Council on Nov. 7.
Incumbents Kathy Cocuzzi and Michael Heyeck ran successful re-election campaigns, and were joined in victory by newcomers Valerie Cumming and Alex Heckman.
Incumbents John Bokros and Larry Jenkins and challenger Lee Alan Peters lost by slim margins.
With all precincts reporting Nov. 7, Cocuzzi was the top vote-getter with 4,195 votes, followed by Heyeck with 4,057, Cumming with 3,467 and Heckman with 3,410, or 18 percent for Cocuzzi and Heyeck, 15 percent for Cumming and Heckman, according to unofficial results from the Franklin County Board of Elections.
Bokros received 2,802 votes, Jenkins 2,656 votes and Peters 2,210 votes.
Cocuzzi is currently the mayor of Westerville and has been a council member since 2005. She pledged to strive “to make Westerville the best place to be, for work or for play and the best place to call home.”
Heyeck has been a council member since 1993, and has served on several other boards and commissions. He said he hopes to “continue to preserve our safe, family-friendly, small-town atmosphere for Westerville.”
Cumming is a freelance writer and writing teacher. She emphasized her commitment to improving public transportation in Westerville, as well as “improving walkability and bikeability.” She said she hoped to refocus council “from beautifying Uptown to prioritizing the needs of our residents.”
Heckman is a professor and chair of public administration programs at Franklin University. He said one of his priorities as a council member would be to “help make Westerville a leader in sustainability and going green.”
Local liquor option
The only liquor options on the Westerville ballot were overwhelmingly passed, according to unofficial results.
Voters saw two options in Precinct 1A, Issue 28A for weekday sales and Issue 28B for Sunday sales related to a new roject at 8 N. State St
“BBQ gastropub” Barrel & Boar is set to be the new tenant of the site, a deal that owner Stan Riley said was contingent on the passage of the liquor options.
The weekday sales option passed by a vote of 251 to 45, or 85 percent to 15 percent. The Sunday sales option passed by a vote of 235 to 62, or 79 percent to 21 percent.