It took nearly a week, but South Lyon got a new mayor just in time for Monday’s swearing-in ceremony at city hall.
Daniel Pelchat, who turns 35 next month, was the top finisher in a race of nine write-in candidates (two of whom were no longer actively campaigning).
“I’m absolutely excited. It’s been a wild ride so far. I’ve learned a ton. I plan to learn each and every day,” said Pelchat, who works in IT for the South Lyon Community Schools district.
Pelchat received 445 votes; second-place finisher Ashley Enstad received 379 votes. In third place was William Powell, who received 121 votes, followed by Brandon Yopp, with 115 votes.
Other candidates were Richard Vessella, 34 votes; and Kenyson Borkowski, 32 votes. The remaining candidates who weren’t actively campaigning or had withdrawn were in single digits: Jamie Nelson, 4 votes; Michelle Berry, 2 votes; and Bryan Capen, 1 vote.
The election was held Nov. 7, but with only write-in candidates in the mayor’s race —incumbent John Galeas didn’t seek re-election and no other candidates filed to be on the ballot — the results had be tabulated by the Oakland County Board of Canvassers. A tally tape showing what voters actually wrote on their computerized ballot was generated and sent to the county.
There were 1,133 votes cast in the election, but in the mayor’s race the county found 243 under votes or voters who failed to write in a candidate’s name. There were also 54 write-in votes that were rejected for unspecified reasons. Under state law, votes for candidates who have not filed an affidavit to run as a write-in are invalid.
A first-time candidate like the other write-ins, Pelchat said he is optimistic that changes in the council and mayor will result in a better working relationship for the city’s elected body.
“I’m a glass-half-full guy. And I’m a rah-rah guy, going back to high school football,” said Pelchat, a 2001 South Lyon High School graduate. “I want to speak one-on-one with council members. The council relationships will improve. They have been better lately and the council has been productive.”
The only incumbent council member on the ballot, Glenn Kivell, was re-elected for a four-year term. Also elected were Rose Walton and Carl Richards, who has run for council in previous elections, both for a four-year term. Incumbents Michael Kramer and Harvey Wedell didn’t run for re-election.
Along with his new duties as mayor, Pelchat and fiancee Meredith Pedersen are engaged, with an Aug. 11, 2018, wedding date set.
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