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Incumbents swept away in Batavia

Published: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 9:11 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 12:57 p.m. CDT

BATAVIA – Batavia 4th Ward Alderman James Volk, 5th Ward Alderman Eldon Frydendall and 6th Ward Alderman Robert Liva lost in their bids for re-election Tuesday night.

According to unofficial results, Batavia MainStreet board member Jamie Saam won over Volk, 133 votes to 81 votes. Saam previously ran for the Batavia City Council in 2011. Volk has been on the Batavia City Council for 18 years.

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 just tried to get out and talk to people," Saam said after her victory. She said the recent discussion about the Batavia City Council's decision to build an arch on North River Street that is estimated to cost between $112,000 and $117,000 also created interest in the election.

Saam has come out against the proposal. The arch, planned as part of the North River Street streetscape project, originally was expected to cost about $50,000. As part of the project, North River Street has been transformed into a curbless street in which pedestrians have priority over cars.

Batavia resident Sylvia Keppel, who helped organize the protest, said she wanted to get people's attention.

Vasilion attributed his win along with Saam's and Cerone's to the public being displeased with the current City Council.

"I think that the citizens were not happy with the way things have been done," Vasilion said. "I think the citizens were ready for a change."

Volk, Liva and Frydendall could not be reached for comment.

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