BATAVIA – Fourth Ward Alderman James Volk had little to say Wednesday after losing in his re-election bid to Batavia MainStreet board member Jamie Saam on Tuesday.
“Jamie got more voters than I did,” Volk said Wednesday. “Eighteen years is enough.”
Eighteen years is how long Volk has been on the Batavia City Council. According to unofficial results, Saam defeated Volk, 133 votes to 81 votes. Saam previously ran for the Batavia City Council in 2011.
Fifth Ward Alderman Eldon Frydendall and 6th Ward Alderman Robert Liva also lost in their bids for re-election. Architect and Batavia Historic Preservation Commission member Steve Vasilion won over Frydendall, who has been on the Batavia City Council for 32 years, by 436 votes to 163 votes.
In the three-way race for 6th Ward, Nick Cerone received 368 votes, Liva received 208 votes, and Ron Rechenmacher received 100 votes. Liva has been on the Batavia City Council for eight years.
“I’ve had a tremendous 32 years on the Batavia City Council, and I’m very happy with what I accomplished,” Frydendall said. “I hope the newcomers are going to blend in with the group there and truly do what’s best for the citizens of Batavia.”
Before joining the Batavia City Council, Frydendall had been on the Batavia Park Board for 10 years. Liva could not be reached for comment.
Cerone said the fact the three incumbents lost “speaks to the frustration that people have in general.”
“They feel they were not being represented,” he said.
Cerone used as an example the Batavia City Council’s recent decision to build an arch, estimated to cost between $112,000 and $117,000, at the corner of River and Wilson streets in downtown Batavia. Voting “no” were 2nd Ward Alderman Victor Dietz and 4th Ward Alderman Susan Stark.
“I don’t think an arch should be built at that dollar amount and with that design,” he said. “I’m not against an arch per se. I think we need to go back to the drawing board.”