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Voters Give Incumbents Another Two Years

Laurie Cole, Edythe Kelleher, Mike Polychrones and Jane Seeman win back their seats.

(Updated with candidate comments 10:38 p.m.):Nearly five percent of Vienna's voters put their faith behind the four incumbents running to stay in their Mayor and Town Council seats in Tuesday's town elections.

, and all won re-election to their council and Mayor seats, respectively. They’ve all served for at least a decade.

They'll start two-year terms July 1.

About 4.97 percent of Vienna's 11,218 active registered voters cast ballots in Tuesday's elections.

Seeman received the most votes, with 504. Kelleher received 489, Cole received 454 and Polychrones received 428.

There were 38 total write-in votes across all four seats. Twelve absentee ballots were filed.

Seeman said she was happy with the voter turnout given the uncontested race.

A slow voter pace early Tuesday morning picked up around lunch time, poll workers said, but was still behind the kind of numbers seen in a contested election. As of 5:30 p.m., 485 people came to vote -- about 4.32 percent of the town's 11,218 active registered voters.

Candidates look ahead toward future:

Residents said they were generally happy with the way the town was run, and wanted to support the people who made that possible.

Polychrones said he can't recall every hearing so many "thank yous" on any of his previous election days:  In a job that lends itself to more resident complaints and issues than compliments, candidates usually hear what residents want to change instead of what is keeping them happy.

Getting that kind of feedback after two years of "balancing a lot on the [town's] plate] is good," Seeman said.

"Usually people will re-elect you if they like what you do -- they'll thank you with their vote," Polychrones said. "This time, they thanked us with their words, too."

The newly re-elected officials offered a glimpse Tuesday night into what they hoped the next two years would bring.

All mentioned the Maple Avenue Vision -- nearly a decade in the making --as something they were excited to finally complete; the will also pose some tough challenges for the council and town staff, they said.

The vision is something Polychrones said he has wanted to see completed since he was first elected in 1996.

"Time and patience pays off," Polychrones said.

Seeman also wants to work toward continuing to fulfill the

"We've spent a number of years [getting to where we are today] and I'd like to get that fully accomplished," Seeman said.

The town will also face tough decisions about its water and sewer system, including , and how and if it keeps it.

"A lot of that is bigger than we are," Kelleher said.

Cole said while the longterm visions are something she wants to continue to develop, she's also excited about some of the small-scale projects whose improvements residents will be able to see and feel more tangibly in their day to day lives.

"We’re moving ahead with a lot of capital improvement projects, street and sidewalk projects that are going to be useful and visible and just give people something they can enjoy in the short term," she said.  

Kelleher said she looked forward to being involved in all the things that come along "with serving such a great town": the newly-planted community garden, concerts on the green, Viva!Vienna! and interacting with residents at community forums and events.

"It's going to be a good two years," Seeman said.

Full results:

In-person Write-in Absentee Total Laurie Cole 442 12 454 Edythe Kelleher 480 9 489 Mike Polychrones 428 10 438 26 (all three positions) Jane Seeman 493 12 11 504 Total 546 38 12 558

This article was originally published at 8:24 p.m. May 1. It was updated with candidate comments.

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